Kathleen Boyd has been dreaming about becoming a matador since her beloved father took her to the bullfighting ring when she was just a child. Now a young woman, her disapproving fiancé and her practical-minded mother see her dream only as a foolish flight of fancy. Nevertheless, Kathleen relocates to Mexico and finds herself under the instruction of Fermin, a retired matador who is intent on asserting his dominance in their partnership. Though taking on a female apprentice is unheard of, Fermin sees Kathleen’s undeniable talent and promises that she’ll one day perform at the prestigious Plaza Mexico bullring. While Kathleen struggles to perform alongside the unwelcoming men of Mexico’s bullfighting scene, she is befriended by Julio, better known as El Cabrito—The Kid.As time passes, Kathleen’s confidence in her ability increases—though so too do her suspicions of Fermin’s intentions. She has become a sensation, but while Fermin gets rich, Kathleen’s pay remains pitiful and her instructor’s control over her life remains absolute. Will she always be a vehicle for another person’s success? Or will she finally face her own moment of truth and seize the success that she has worked toward for so long, in a world that has always belonged to men?
Damian McNicholl was born and raised in Northern Ireland and worked as an attorney in New York City. His critically acclaimed first novel, A Son Called Gabriel, won awards and recognition, including an ABA Booksense Pick, a Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist, and a Lambda Literary Awards finalist in the debut novel category. He lives in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.damianmcnicholl.com.