Review: New Animal by Ella Baxter

Title: New Animal

Author: Ella Baxter

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Amelia is no stranger to sex and death. Her job in her family’s funeral parlour, doing make-up on the dead, might be unusual, but she’s good at it. Life and warmth comes from the men she meets online – combining with someone else’s body at night in order to become something else, at least for a while.

But when a sudden loss severs her ties with someone she loves, Amelia sets off on a seventy-two-hour mission to outrun her grief – skipping out on the funeral, running away to stay with her father in Tasmania and experimenting on the local BDSM scene. There she learns more about sex, death, grief, and the different ways pain works its way through the body.

It takes two fathers, a bruising encounter with a stranger and recognition of her own body’s limits to bring Amelia back to herself. 

Deadpan, wise and heartbreakingly funny, Ella Baxter’s New Animal is a stunning debut.

The Review

New Animal is a bold story that explores the uncontrollable nature of grief.

When Amelia – a make-up artist at a funeral parlour – experiences her own grief we see her completely unravel. As we watch her unravel we see how her grief manifests in the strange. She runs away and delves into the world of BDSM trying to feel pain to make the unbearable emotional pain she is feeling.

Ella Baxter is an exciting new voice. Whilst New Animal didn’t hit all my needs for a story it was Ella Baxter’s easy writing style that kept me engaged. I’m excited to see what else she can do.

New Animal by is available now.

For more information regarding Ella Baxter (@Ella_Baxter_) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit

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