Ode to My First Car 

It’s a few months before senior year and Claire Kemp, a closeted bisexual, is finally starting to admit she might be falling in love with her best friend, Sophia, who she’s known since they were four.

Trying to pay off the fine from the crash that totals Lars, her beloved car, Claire takes a job at the local nursing home up the street from her house. There she meets Lena, an eighty-eight-year-old lesbian woman who tells her stories about what it was like growing up gay in the 1950s and ’60s.

As Claire spends more time with Lena and grows more confident of her identity, another girl, Pen, comes into the picture, and Claire is caught between two loves–one familiar and well-worn, the other new and untested.


"Gow (who is bisexual, queer, and trans), writes with authority, insight, and considerable poetic skill...The result is a highly readable, character driven exercise in literary fiction that is highly recommended."

Booklist, STARRED Review!

"[Gow] thoughtfully unpacks a variety of issues, including economic anxiety, guilt, and identity exploration via empathetic verse poems ..."

Publishers Weekly

"A compelling tale that explores queerness, friendship, and love."

Kirkus Reviews