Set in cut-throat, corporate London, JADED is a blistering account of consent, power, race, sexism and identity in a broken society. The novel follows the story of a mixed-race lawyer in London who, after a night of heavy drinking at a work event, has to piece together what happened. It is darkly humorous and bitingly honest, with a fantastic cast of characters and electrifying setting. It is reminiscent of INDSUTRY and I MAY DESTROY YOU, but with a refreshing and unique tone – exploring issues of consent, but at its core, the fallout of a relationship. It was pre-empted by Vintage in the major deal in the UK and Simon & Schuster in the US, and will be published in February 2024. You can read more in The Bookseller here.
When mixed race lawyer Jade is preyed upon by her boss at a work event, she ends up drinking way too much, leaving her colleague Josh, her knight in shining armour, to come to the rescue. He insists on helping her home, the perfect gentleman – bundling them both into a cab and walking her to the door. But suddenly Josh is inviting himself in, slipping Jade’s shoes off, helping himself to wine, moving her to the bedroom. Everything after that is a blank.
Jade wakes the next morning, naked and alone, with no memory of how she got home. Too afraid to talk to Josh or open up to long term boyfriend Alex, she throws herself into work, ignoring the office rumours, drinking to oblivion, and working 90-hour weeks. It’s only after a series of debilitating flashbacks that Jade starts to unravel the truth. But a woman’s indignity is so mass market and accused of “crying rape” by Josh, it’s a slippery slope. But Jade isn’t going down alone.
Ela Lee is a London-based author. She studied Law at the University of Oxford and previously practised as a City lawyer. During the pandemic, Ela decided to focus on her love of writing and began work on her debut novel. Ela is represented by Hellie Ogden at WME Agency.