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Catalog Archive / Spring 2024

Unswerving

Unswerving is fresh, vital, and important, with a well-drawn plot that moves the narrative along briskly. There is no miraculous recovery, but there are small victories here.”
—Anne Finger, author of A Woman, in Bed

When there’s no way to go but forward

When Tave wakes up alone in the hospital, she barely remembers the car wreck. Far from home, dazed, and despondent, she struggles to face the challenges of her new paralysis—all while worrying about her partner, Les, also severely injured in the accident, now cared for by her homophobic parents who refuse to allow contact.

In rehab, Tave relearns life skills and comes to recognize that her future will be completely different than she’d imagined. Where will she live? How will she find the help she needs? Can her friends rise to the occasion? Or will she be forced to move back in with her mother, putting up with endless talk of faith healers? Her one beacon of hope is Beth, her physical therapist. But Beth’s relationship problems with her own girlfriend push her toward overinvolvement—and risk damaging both her career and Tave’s recovery.

A story of courage, resilience, and love, Unswerving challenges readers’ preconceived notions of disability, of limitations, and of the inevitability of fate.

 

Barbara Ridley. Photo credit, Abby Ridley-Kerr. Barbara Ridley is the author of When It’s Over, winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal for Historical Fiction. Before turning to creative writing, she worked for many years as a spinal-cord-injury nurse practitioner.

Author's Website - https://www.barbararidley.com/

 

 

Praise

“It is rare for a work of fiction to tackle such topics; filled with engaging characters and vividly depicted, Unswerving’s account of injury and healing is detailed and believable.”
—Amy Hoffman, author of Dot & Ralfie

“A gem: compelling, unflinching, and poignant. With dignity and compassion, Ridley has written an immersive story about rebuilding life after catastrophic injury. Unswerving is ultimately an uplifting story about love and loss and queer identity. I simply could not forget the characters long after I finished reading the final pages.”
—Devi S. Laskar, author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues and Circa

Unswerving will have you cheering on the main character, Tave, as she navigates the trials and triumphs of her life as a young, newly disabled lesbian. Ridley paints a realistic but not heroic story of spinal cord injury recovery, full of complex relationships, tragedy, humor, and all the messiness of life that we can all relate to.”
—Judith Smith, director emerita of Axis Dance Company and SCI quad

“Gripping. . . . In the insightful novel Unswerving, a woman facing tremendous losses transforms because of her courage, resilience, and community.”
—Foreword Reviews

 

Resources

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Of Related Interest


Dot & Ralfie: cover depicting a line illustration of two women embracing each other, one with her hair up in a bun, wearing a floral shirt, the other with short, spiky hair and loose-fitting clothes. The ambersand in the title text is bright red and wraps itself around the women. The background is magenta and the rest of the title text is a contrasting white.

Dot & Ralfie
Amy Hoffman

Half: A close-up photo of two women with their faces pressed together. The image is cut so that only one half of each face is visible. Where the faces meet, the title, Half, is written sideways, in large white font, in contrast to the orange hue of the picture.

Half
Sharon Harrigan

Unswerving: a bright yellow cover with an abstract illustration of a wheelchair cropped by the right side of the page. The wheel is comprised of colorful brushstrokes: blue, red, purple, yellow, and green. The title text is written in a bold font reminiscent of handwriting, curving along the side of the wheel.

Larger images

March 2024
234 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $19.95
ISBN 9780299348144
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