Coming Out Cowboy
Yep, I broke out my cowboy hat and my Joan Crawford “Johnny Guitar” inspired shirt to review a new book: A Good Hiding by Shirley McMillan. This young adult fiction book does not shy away from serious issues: teen pregnancy, a gay teen in a homophobic world, alcoholism, death and dying, religion, and hiding out in a crypt with visits from a vicar with some big secrets.
Secrets and Friendship
In facts, secrets play a big part of this book. Some of the action comes from the unearthing of these secrets. But it is much more than a plot-driven teen drama, these are realistic characters with strong voices, believable voices experiencing real life problems and sometimes making big mistakes. It is also about friendship and determination.
Here is the description from Shirley McMillan’s website:
A Good Hiding is a Young Adult novel set in Belfast, exploring themes such as secrets, violence, homophobia and religion. It is told via first person dual narrative through the characters of Nollaig, a pregnant fifteen year old intent on running away, and Stephen, her best friend, a gay teenager who himself has had to escape a violent past. Through their encounter with an Anglican minister who has secrets of his own, Nollaig and Stephen explore what it is to be a friend to someone whose safety requires secrecy and lies.
Reading the book for the second time, I decided to create a video review. And although the story is set in the crypt of a church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I felt I needed to get downright country in my literary analysis (You can even hear Patty Cake, my horse in the background)
A Cowboy Review of A Good Hiding
A Good Hiding is published by Atom Books and is available at Amazon and elsewhere.