When Emily Grey fails her exams at the end of her first year at university, she starts to worry that her easy-going approach to life may have laid waste to her plans for her future. But then she receives a letter telling her of a new scheme in which she will be given a second chance. This second chance, however, comes at a price. The world around Emily is changing rapidly, and new notions about discipline are being quietly introduced without most people even being aware of them. We follow Emily through this severe new world as she learns to navigate its humiliations, its hardships and its fascinating delights.
Emily had been a late developer—she’d never given boys, or sex, much thought. Not when she was at school, she was much too shy back then. Later on, when a boy at university asked her out on a date she’d said yes, because that was what was expected of her. From then on she’d have told you she was straight—everyone was, in the Australian country town she came from, and if they weren’t, they kept quiet about it. It was that kind of place. It was also the kind of place you left, as soon as you could. Emily made it to Melbourne, and never looked back.
She wasn’t the kind of girl who did one-night-stands, but he’d seemed nice, the boy she met at the party. When he treated her like dirt the morning after, she went to a café, trying to make her life feel normal. It didn’t work, nothing could. But that was where she met Laura, a waitress working behind the counter. Laura’s phone number, scribbled on a scrap of paper ripped from her order pad was just a gesture, an offer of support, one Emily never planned on taking up.
But a chance encounter brings Laura into Emily’s life again, and she is offered the possibility of new friends and a new social scene—musicians and artists, talented, witty, and clever, so much more interesting than the people Emily knew. Along with this glimpse of a sparkling new life comes a revelation. Laura is a lesbian.
Emily has to recalibrate her feelings for Laura. Can she be friends with her? Does she want to be friends with her, or something more?
Love, Tears, & Coffee is the story of Emily and Laura. Emily’s journey of self-discovery takes time, and her awakening comes with its fair share of trials and setbacks. Ultimately though, she discovers who she really is, and who she really loves.