ARC Review: Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
Publication Date: 22 February 2022

So far in 2022 I have attempted to be more stringent with my reviews. I made the decision to be more frugal with my five-star reviews, reserving them for only those works that I believe truly merit it. I’ve been nit-picky with everything I have read so far this year. But despite my best efforts, I could find absolutely no nits to pick with Delilah Green Doesn’t Care. I loved absolutely everything that Ashley Herring Blake has given us in this story of found family, friendship, and discovering that one person who feels like home.

Delilah Green is a photographer, trying to launch her career in NYC, when she gets hired to return to her hometown to photograph her step-sister Astrid’s wedding. Orphaned at a young age and left in the care of a cold and emotionally distant step-mother, Delilah was always viewed as a strange, reclusive outsider by Astrid and the girls Delilah refers to as Astrid’s “coven.” Delilah fled to New York as soon as she turned 18, leaving the small town behind and embarking on a life focused on work and zero romantic entanglements. When she returns to Bright Falls for the wedding, she brings with her all of the long-held resentments from her childhood, as well as her continued refusal to let anyone into her life or her heart.

Claire Sutherland, bisexual single mom of a pre-teen daughter, Ruby, also has reason to keep her heart under lock and key. Her unreliable ex has a history of disappearing from their lives for weeks or months at a time, too young and immature to have taken on the role of father when Ruby was born. Claire has made a quiet life for her and her daughter, running the town’s bookstore and definitely not looking for love.

The one thing that stood out most to me about the book is that it is a queer romance that doesn’t necessarily feel queer. It’s hard for me to describe, precisely. I guess it’s because the queerness of the characters here really makes no difference. There are no closeted characters, no townsfolk who look down on two women holding hands in public, no judgements relating to the characters’ sexual orientations. The queerness is not an issue that has to be “dealt with.” It just is. And that was very refreshing. The author didn’t take what could be considered the easier way out, with external forces and societal expectations being the problems that drive a wedge between the two lovers. Instead, these characters are forced to turn inward, to examine how their own personal issues and their unwillingness to let anyone in are preventing them from being truly happy

So indeed, this sapphic love story is exquisite. And as an added bonus, the supporting cast is delightful. I particularly loved the fiery Iris, the third member of Astrid’s friend group, a brash woman with no filter and with whom I absolutely want to be friends. I also adored Claire’s pre-teen daughter, Ruby. Her attitude and her sass are everything you would expect from a girl that age, and she reminds me of why I’m grateful to have been blessed with sons. Seeing the growth and maturity of Claire’s ex was also quite satisfying, when another author may have just let him be some one-dimensional symbol of why men suck.

It’s only the end of January, but I can already tell that Delilah Green Doesn’t Care will be a strong contender for my Best of 2022 list. I encourage everyone to give it a try when it releases next month. You won’t be sorry.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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