Jessica Andrews's first novel, Saltwater, was wonderful. The follow-up, Milk Teeth, is even better. A story of young love and desire that's full of the most gorgeous writing.
Heady, sweaty, sexy, salient. I devoured it
Addictive, immediate, brilliant. Jessica Andrews offers a profound take on the ways our bodies are policed, on class, escapism and losing yourself in others
Like many girls from my generation, raised on a diet of Arturo Bandini's oranges and shiny tinned dreams of post-feminism, I have wasted too many years trying to fit into small, muted spaces. I would rather sit down to eat and think with Jessica Andrews any day: Milk Teeth is a novel about holding space, and the hard work that it takes. It is true and I am so grateful it exists. What a relief it is, finally, to step off the ledge: to choose to adventure, to give and take care.
Milk Teeth spills over with care, truth and desire. Andrews makes the case for a life lived abundantly and ardently, full of sensation and pleasure, risk and safety."
In lyric dispatches, with the condensed cadences of poetry, Andrews' novel brilliantly explores the ways we grow into and beyond the limits of ourselves, and what happens in the gaps in between who we are and who we're expected to be.
Milk Teeth is electrifying. It's an exothermic novel that breathes, seethes and writhes. An intimate exploration of class, precarity, sex, power and, above all, of the fragility and exuberance of love. The prose is vivid, gorgeous and supple. It's immediate and ultra-sensual and has the emotional pitch and intensity of the best gig you've ever been to. A thunderbolt of a book.
As for a new book that I'm excited about, Jessica Andrews' Milk Teeth - her follow-up to award-winning debut novel Saltwater - would have to be it. Lyrical prose, sticky Mediterranean heat and vivid descriptions make this coming-of-age story transporting, sensual and completely addictive. Themes of loneliness, belonging, identity and love - and how we're ultimately deserving of it - will both break and warm your heart. A must for fans of Sally Rooney.
Andrews's sentences are like plum puddings. Rich. Satisfying. And she often uses verbs - spill, split, bleed, leaks - that suggest a messy life. Our heroine does have a messy life - don't we all - but it's presented here in a way that sees truth pouring off every page.
Milk Teeth examines what it means to allow ourselves to live.
Explores some important issues.
Astute, gut-wrenching...For a novel that is so sharp and often written with such linguistic utility, it isn't at all sparse. Despite these moments in which the narration is given the control that the narrator so desires, this novel is full. In fact, fittingly, one might say it has real weight.
A transporting, visceral second novel... a sizzling novel to read in the heat, when you're hungry for life.
A sharp and beguiling love story . . . languid, elegantly written and dripping with a rich emotional humidity . . . Milk Teeth is a transporting, gorgeous novel
I liked it very much . . . the language, the prose, is very rich . . . there was a melody to it, I found myself reading passages aloud as if there was a poetry to it.
Andrews' prose is distinctly stylised. It possesses a heightened sensuality which reflects the protagonist's aspiration to live fiercely, "like lightning" - free of restraint . . . Milk Teeth possesses a highly charged and often deliberately uncomfortable intimacy.
A tide of sharply sensuous detail keeps the reader riveted as the book flows by in a series of candidly recounted episodes sustained by voice rather than plot. Andrews takes aim at the cultural pressures shaping unhealthy ideals of femininity without ever seeming to preach.
An intimate love story . . . Lazy comparisons to Sally Rooney don't do Andrews' unique writing style justice. Milk Teeth is a must-read.