Olivia Gatwood

Whoever You Are, Honey


This darkly brilliant debut novel explores how women build themselves—beneath the gaze of love, friendship, and the algorithm—showcasing Olivia Gatwood as a thrilling feminist voice for our hyper-digital age.

Across the yard, the kitchen light in Lena’s house is on and the room is exposed, every detail illuminated against a black sky. And then Lena emerges, as if Mitty had called to her. Mitty can’t quite make out the expression on Lena’s face, but she doesn’t look distressed. She looks like nothing at all. She looks like the beginning, before thoughts, a white hallway with no doors, a room so long your voice disappears before it can echo. But to Mitty, she may as well be a swarm of locusts charging through a still field—the hair on her arms standing up, her eyes blinking every few seconds in perfect rhythm, her chest expanding and collapsing, her lips parted to let out something like breath.

On the Santa Cruz waterfront, every house is as flawless as the people inside—except for Mitty and her elderly roommate, Bethel. For ten years, Mitty has found refuge in their secluded existence after a traumatic adolescence. Now, they’re the oddball pair in the dilapidated bungalow, the last vestiges of a town taken over by the tech elite. But their lives are about to be irrevocably disrupted when a new couple, Lena and Sebastian, move in next door. Because on the quiet outskirts of Silicon Valley, nothing is off-limits, and what was once considered dystopia is now reality...

Sebastian is a renowned tech founder and Lena is his spellbinding girlfriend, seemingly floating through their luxurious life. But just like Mitty, Lena has her own secrets; she feels uneasy about her oddly spotty memory, and is growing increasingly wary of the way Sebastian closely controls their life together. As the two women begin to form a close friendship, they are finally forced to face their pasts—or lack thereof—which have overpowered their lives for far too long, and the urgent truths that could change everything.

A kind of Stepford Wives meets Grey Gardens for the age of artificial intelligence, Whoever You Are, Honey is gripping, seductive, and prescient as it dissects relationships between women, unpacks perfection and desirability, and explodes the intersection of passion, technology, and power.