I had the privilege of receiving this book in the mail from Damien's publicist Joan. She had read some of my stuff here at BellaOnline and thought that I could read and review Damien's book. Was I surprised when I did a little research on the book before it came. Damien's book, A Son Called Gabriel, was chosen as one of Advocate magazine's summer reads. So some of you may have already read it. So, after digging around a bit and talking about the book with Joan, I became very interested in reading it. Unfortunately summer classes got in the way along with some health problems and I wasn't able to read his book as quickly as I would have liked. But a black widow's bite, and Public Speaking behind me, I sat down and read this little gem of a novel.
The story is obviously centered around a young bloke named Gabriel. This is his story. It is a story of coming to terms with one's self being a homosexual.
Set in the wonderful distant land of England, Gabriel struggles not only with himself, but with his family. He searches for a place for himself inside of his very entertaining and somewhat dysfunctional family. Damien presents a wonderfully compassionate and endearing tale that catches you from page one.
Unlike similar stories, Damien grabs your attention and hold on to it through the end of the book. He makes you want to flip the page in order to read what is next to come. He makes you fall in love with Gabriel, a boy who is very sensitive, gets bullied at school and on the playground, and is constantly tormented because he'd rather play tag or other games with the girls instead of being rough and tumble playing football with the boys.
What grabbed me was the fact that I could totally understand and comprehend Gabriel because I could see myself in Gabriel. I could compare our lives and how we developed as gay men. And like myself, Gabriel achieves success in fighting off the bullies and overcoming that difficult stage in almost any sensitive child's life. But one victory does not lead to another.
Damien well writes the struggle of the internal soul. The soul that fights against what it feels because the church it belongs to says it is an abomination. That being gay is like being a child molester or the most perverted of society. With the internal struggle comes the external. Through countless escapades with both genders, dealing with the ultra-catholic mother and family, and with sexual abuse of his own, Gabriel becomes the man he was intended to be.
So why don't you go grab yourself a copy and join in on discovering life through the eye's of young Gabriel. This tale is sure to thrill you as it did me. You are bound to find some piece of yourself in this wonderful tale spun together by a magnificent freshman author named Damien McNicholl. The story will remind you of the best times, and remind you of the worst. But you won't be disappointed when you open the cover and loose yourself in Gabriel's tale.
A definite read that would be a sin to miss!
I cannot wait for his second book to come out. Word is, that Damien is looking for a publicist so hopefully we shall see it soon!
5 out of 5 triangles is what I give this story. Well done Damien!
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