On the morning of June 22, 1954, two New Zealand schoolgirls found half a brick lying in a public garden and slipped it into a stocking; Juliet Hulme (15) and Pauline Parker (16) had been planning to kill Pauline’s mother for weeks, and for their ploy to succeed they needed it to look like an accident.
Both girls had met a few years previously at school; Pauline was a scowling, unpopular girl with a pronounced limp, and Juliet was a snobby, arrogant teenager with a bad chest. Soon they became the best of friends, and despite their social differences- Juliet came from an upper-class English family whilst Pauline was poor and had divorced parents - they began to retreat into a world of fantasy and make believe. They gave each other fanciful alter egos and new identities, and dreamed of going to America to become famous authors.
These sweet dreams were unceremoniously shattered when Juliet’s parents announced she would soon be shipped off to South Africa, and Pauline was forbidden to come. Odd rumours had begun to circulate about the girl’s closeness with each other, and both sets of parents decided it would be better if Juliet and Pauline were separated. Enraged, the two girls decided to kill Pauline’s mother - the one most opposed to their friendship - so Pauline could stay with Juliet.
On that fateful morning Pauline’s mother Honora invited Juliet along to afternoon tea and a walk through the beautiful bush gardens in the city. Along the way, Juliet found the broken brick and slipped it into her purse. The three women enjoyed a lavish tea service before heading off down a deserted path to look at the flowering trees. As Pauline’s mother bent over to look at something on the ground, the murderous girls crept up behind her with the brick.
Pauline swung the brick at her mother’s head whilst Juliet held the terrified woman down. It was later found that Honora had been hit over thirty times in the head, with enough force to shatter her skull in eleven places. Afterwards both girls were drenched in blood, and Juliet carelessly tossed the brick into the garden just beyond the body. They then ran back to the tearoom where they had just had lunch and told the manager that “Mrs Parker’s had an accident”. They claimed Honora had slipped on the wet earth and kept ‘banging and bumping’ her head against the ground.
The two police officers who examined the scene knew straightaway Honora Parker’s death was no accident; struggle marks in the dirt suggested the poor woman had been held down while blows were inflicted, and after just a minute of searching they found the murder weapon, still wrapped in a bloody stocking.
When faced with the inconsistencies in their story both Parker and Hulme confessed to killing Honora Parker. They were charged and arrested, though much of their trial concerned their possibly sexual relationship rather than hearing evidence; since homosexuality was considered a mental illness as well as a crime, the defense sought to prove that both girls were insane when they murdered Pauline’s mother. In the end, it didn’t matter; both Parker and Hulme were determined to be too young for adult punishment, and were instead detained for five years.
Hey, i'd be interested if you have any book rec's with ace/aro protagonists? I'm struggling to find many good ones.
So I’ll level with you here, depression’s been beating my ass for the longest time, and even though I know there’s good stuff out there, I’ve not had the energy to go delving into the nooks and crannies of the fiction world to find it, because…… y’know, it’s hard, there’s fudge all out there, I’m tired
But I’m so glad you sent this ask because it’s given me the motivation to sit my butt down and make this happen and this is IMPORTANT to me. So this ask has been an adventure for the both of us, anon friend~
Here’s what I found in my search! I’ve only read a few of them, for the above reason, but I’ve tried to collect stuff that’s been written by aro/ace authors or has received positive reviews from aro/ace people!! Here goes!!! I hope it’s not too lengthy, I got excited!!
The Bone Peopleby Keri Hulme is a mystery novel featuring an asexual protagonist, the reclusive artist Kerewin. It’s set in New Zealand and focuses a lot on Maori culture (the author herself is of Maori descent, as well as openly asexual and aromantic). Trigger warnings for physical abuse, suicide and illness.
We Awaken by Calista Lynne ( @calista-lynne ) features two asexual protagonists, girls who love girls, paranormal shenanigans, and the most beautiful glorious amazing cover I’ve ever seen. It’s also published by Harmony Ink Press, who do positive LGBTQ+ stories and are all round awesome in general. I think this one is available for preorder now, but releasing soon.
Sydney West by Rebecca McKinsey is a mystery/thriller I’ve seen some really great reviews on, which features a canon aromantic protagonist, and also has minimal profanity and minimal graphic description, if that’s not your kinda thing.
How To Be A Normal Person by TJ Klune features an asexual stoner hipster and honestly I don’t even know what else to say about it but this book looks like a wild and very weird ride to say the least.
Every Heart a Doorwayby Seanan McGuire has an asexual protagonist and creepy stuff and secret doors and other worlds. Also has a trans character! Seems like a neat premise, I’m keen to read it.
Cold Ennalineby RJ Astruc is paranormal novella also published by Harmony Ink Press, featuring an asexual (and by the sounds of the description quite possibly aromantic) protagonist.
Banner of the Damnedby Sherwood Smith is an epic high fantasy with an asexual protagonist and a POC princess and lots of awesome worldbuilding and politics and yeah!
After I Wake by Emma Griffiths features an asexual protagonist and several queer side characters and is also published by Harmony Ink Press! Hooray! Trigger warnings for suicide and mental illness (though the story itself focuses on recovery).
Sinnersby Eka Waterfield is a dark fantasy about an asexual sidhe drug dealer, so what else does a person need, really. But yeah! It’s got thumbs-ups from several ace reviewers on goodreads! Trigger warnings for drug use and violence.
Clariel by Garth Nix features a protagonist who’s pretty much 100% absolutely aroace and amazing, and from what I can see many of the aces/aros who’ve read this book strongly identify with her and her experiences and the general consensus is that it’s awesome.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld features a demisexual WOC and a lesbian love interest and I’ve heard pretty good things about it, though I haven’t read it myself.
Quicksilverby RJ Anderson is a YA sci-fi with an asexual protagonist and lots of decent discussions on asexuality in the book, like the coming out scene, etc.
Interface: inSightby Lucy Mihajlichis another one maybe worth looking out for? It has a kickstarter going, and features a hearing-impaired aroace protagonist, nonbinary representation, and female and POC characters doing cool stuff and not dying… also has, like, cool edgy futuristic dystopia vibes~
A Word and a Bullet by Rachel Sharp has a very very very explicitly-stated aroace character. 100% aroace and cool with it. Also, quirky apocalypse stories are always fun, yeah?
And here’s some other neat stuff I found:
From Under the Mountainby Cait Spivey (panromantic asexual author, F/F high fantasy, lots of POC and women characters)
Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge (zero romance, cool premise)
The Tropic of Serpentsby Marie Brennan (ace character, not protagonist)
Radio Silenceby Alice Osman (honest and open discussions of asexuality and demisexuality, female mixed-race bisexual protagonist, male and female leads do not fall in love)
Make Much Of Meby Kayla Bashe (lots of queer rep, including asexual and nonbinary, super positive feelgood themes)
Mindtouch and Mindline by M.C.A Hogarth (non-human asexual characters, queerplatonic life-partnership, sounds hELLA CUTE)
Guardian of the Deadby Karen Healey (asexual POC leading character, not protagonist)
And I added like a billion things to my TBR lmao help me anon
Meeting the yogscast. was one of the best things ever! They were all so lovely and sweet, even had some banter with Kev there security guard! I was super nervous but they made me feel happy, and spent loads of time talking to everyone!. Not only that but whilst waiting in line I met some awesome and super friendly yognaught’s willing to chat to pass the time. Through my anxiety and depression I made myself go and I am glad I did, I got to thank Lewis for everything he has done, I have been a yognaught since the SOI days and still love it today.