“Bring me my writing mittens” was an inside joke between Cathy and Deets — a throw-away line in a BBC period-drama that had had them in stitches when they had lived together in Wiltshire, England.
But now they relied upon their writing mittens to hold them together over two sides of the Pond. Aged 40, Deets Johnson has left her partner of 15 years on a 400-acre pig farm in Central Virginia to pursue a degree from the Royal Veterinary College in her native London. Upon arrival in Camden it quickly became apparent she has made a mistake. In response, she does the very thing the Student Welcome Pack advised one NOT to do — she got herself a bottle of wine, stayed in her room, and started writing to Cathy….
The people Deets describes carry the story. For example, Rachael remains one of the most peculiar persons she has ever met — just how often does one get to share a student flat (at aged 40) with someone who corners you in the kitchen and whispers in sinister tones, “As a flatmate you should know there are now two of me…”
But it was the person Deets wrote to every day to tell this story who defines it. Quirky, humorous, and sometimes dark, the letters are framed by the tension of two people doggedly holding onto a same-sex Trans-Atlantic relationship — within a hostile US immigration environment. Yes, Writing Mittens is ultimately a love story.