Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko, Can be read in a few days depending on your speed, Adult Fiction
(TW: discussion of child sexual assault)
Families are complicated. Sometimes they are so complicated that you leave and never look back. Other times, you stay away as long as possible or come back but avoid being discovered. And then there are the families you hide out with when you’re avoiding prison. For Kerry Salter, her family is somehow all of these things at once. Like I said, families are complicated. And Too Much Lip does a fantastic job exploring just how complicated.
Kerry is a queer First Nations woman who has avoided her family for years. But when her girlfriend is suddenly imprisoned and her grandfather is on his death bed, she returns home for one last visit before disappearing forever. Or at least, that was the plan.
But family—and home (in this case, Bundjalung country)—has a way of pulling you back in. Before she knows it, Kerry is mired in not only her family’s issues, but a larger political fight as a new prison scheduled to be built on her families ancestral and spiritual lands. What was intended to be a 24-hour trip quickly becomes several months. And in that time, new love is found, secrets are revealed, and bonds are broken and rebuilt.
Too Much Lip is not just a story about the power of family and love. It is also about the need to protect one’s legacy, reclaim one’s life, and deal with traumas both new and old in order to find peace. And it is one of the best books I’ve read this year.