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Neon Roses – Rachel Dawson


Eluned Hughes is stuck. It’s 1984 in a valley in south Wales: the miners’ strike is ravaging her community; her sister’s swanned off with a Thatcherite policeman; and her boyfriend Lloyd keeps bringing up marriage. And if they play ’99 Red Balloons’ on the radio one more time, she might just lose her mind.

Then the fundraising group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners comes down from London, and she meets June, a snaggle-toothed blonde in a too-big leather jacket. Suddenly, Eluned isn’t stuck any more – she’s in freefall. June’s an artist and an activist, living in a squat in Camden.

With June, Eluned can imagine a completely different – and exciting – life for herself. But as her family struggles with the strikes, and her relationship with her sister deteriorates, should she really leave it all behind? From the Valleys to the nightclubs of Cardiff, London and Manchester, Neon Roses is a heartwarming, funny and a little bit filthy queer coming-of-age story with a cracking ’80s soundtrack.

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