I was enjoying this quite a bit. Then, without seemingly any narrative reason, the artist undressed a character who I thought of as trans. Literally nothing seemed to happening in the story that required or was furthered by this full reveal of her body. There was very little similar treatment of other characters that we're supposed to like, despite most of the book taking place in a bordello. It just took me right out of the story.

I don't know my trans history well enough to understand how Miss Josephine would have labeled herself at the time when this takes place - or if she would have labeled herself at all. And this wasn't done as the usual "aha" trope where a storyteller reveals a trans person's trans-ness by having them show up naked. (This trope was discussed very well in an early episode of the excellent podcast The Hopeless Romantic about writing trans romance.) So I don't know if my WTF moment was grounded in anything but my own personal exhaustion with the disrespect of trans people in our media and culture. Or, since I'm not always the smartest reader, I could have missed something here.

But, this is my honest experience with the book, so there you go. :(

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