Cold Feet (Sussex Border Stories) by S.A.A. Calvert, is an extremely well-written, clever and interesting novel, written in a stream of conscious style that veritably “gushes out” at the reader. Things happen so quickly for the protagonist, Sarah that one really needs to pay rapt attention so that a point or idea isn’t lost. But never fear, if you somehow miss something or it goes over your head, no matter. The author is quickly off to her next point and then it somehow all ties together.
This is a story that is set on a foundation of gender transition, but more than that, it is a novel about family, love, closeness, parenting, the support of others, relationships and eventual finding of oneself.
Sarah, born as Sam, lives her formative years as a boy and then musters the courage to transition to a female gender role as an older teen/young adult. This is a tale about the difficulties of doing so and the enormous issues that gender transition may engender (pun intended). It is a story of violence, self-discovery and eventual self-acceptance. It delves deeply into issues of peer and familial relationships, the aging process, cultural differences and transphobia. The dialogue is fast paced, filled with double entendre, humor and superbly written, making one think of a screenplay. In short, this book says a lot, it says it fast and it says it profoundly.