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By: Mesha Maren

From one of the most exciting young queer writers on the literary landscape comes the emotional coming-of-age story of Shae, a teenager who falls in love with Cam and must navigate their relationship as Cam decides to transition. 

When sixteen-year-old Shae meets the slightly older Cam, who is new to their rural small town in West Virginia, she thinks she has found someone who is everything she has ever wanted in a companion. The two become fast friends, and then more. But when Shae becomes pregnant, Cam begins a different transition—trying on clothes that Shae can no longer fit into and declaring female pronouns. Shae is unsure of what to think or feel, but Shae tries to be fully supportive as Cam becomes the person she wants and needs to be.
After a traumatic C-section and the birth of their daughter, Eva, Shae is given opioids to manage the intense pain. During the first year of Eva’s life, Shae’s dependence shifts from pain management to addiction, and her days begin to revolve around getting more pills. In the heart of rural West Virginia, opioids are dispensed as freely as candy, and Shae is just one of many to fall victim to addiction. Meanwhile, Cam continues to transition. Embracing her true self, new life, and new relationships means she must quickly face the reality of being a trans woman in rural America. 

Shae is as much about these two young women as it is about the place they both love despite its limitations. Following the acclaimed Sugar Run and Perpetual West, this is Mesha Maren’s most emotional and accessible novel yet.

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