TBR Thursday: Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad

tbr thursday

TBR Thursday is hosted by She is too fond of books.

16071752Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad by Alison Wearing

Synopsis: A moving memoir about growing up with a gay father in the 1980s, and a tribute to the power of truth, humour, acceptance and familial love.

Alison Wearing led a largely carefree childhood until she learned, at the age of 12, that her family was a little more complex than she had realized. Sure her father had always been unusual compared to the other dads in the neighbourhood: he loved to bake croissants, wear silk pyjamas around the house, and skip down the street singing songs from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. But when he came out of the closet in the 1970s, when homosexuality was still a cardinal taboo, it was a shock to everyone in the quiet community of Peterborough, Ontario—especially to his wife and three children.

Alison’s father was a professor of political science and amateur choral conductor, her mother was an accomplished pianist and marathon runner, and together they had fed the family a steady diet of arts, adventures, mishaps, normal frustrations and inexhaustible laughter. Yet despite these agreeable circumstances, Joe’s internal life was haunted by conflicting desires. As he began to explore and understand the truth about himself, he became determined to find a way to live both as a gay man and also a devoted father, something almost unheard of at the time. Through extraordinary excerpts from his own letters and journals from the years of his coming out, we read of Joe’s private struggle to make sense and beauty of his life, to take inspiration from an evolving society and become part of the vanguard of the gay revolution in Canada.

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is also the story of “coming out” as the daughter of a gay father. Already wrestling with an adolescent’s search for identity when her father came out of the closet, Alison promptly “went in,” concealing his sexual orientation from her friends and spinning extravagant stories about all of the “great straight things” they did together. Over time, Alison came to see that life with her father was surprisingly interesting and entertaining, even oddly inspiring, and in fact, there was nothing to hide.

Balancing intimacy, history and downright hilarity, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is a captivating tale of family life: deliciously imperfect, riotously challenging, and full of life’s great lessons in love. Alison brings her story to life with a skillfully light touch in this warm, heartfelt and revelatory memoir.

Waiting on Wednesday: George

new-wow

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

24612624George by Alex Gino

Details: Hardcover, 240 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2015 by Scholastic Press
Pre-order: Book Depository

Summary: BE WHO YOU ARE.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Waiting on Wednesday: Cut Both Ways

new-wow

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

23871110Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

Details: Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by HarperCollins
Pre-order: Book Depository

Summary: Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.

Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?

Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home.

Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live. Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.

Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

8554005Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Details: Hardcover, 466 pages
Publication: March 1st 2011 by Atria Books
Source: My mom bought it for me.
Buy it: Book Depository
My Rating: 5 stars

Summary: One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter’s marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds. Like her House Rules and several other previous Jodi Picoult novels, Sing You Home grapples with hot button issues. The novel also includes a CD of songs, each matched with a chapter in the book. Perfect for book clubs.

Review: I have been wanting to read something by Jodi Picoult for years. I’ve heard a lot of great things about her books, so I was expecting to like Sing You Home when I picked it up. However, I wasn’t expecting the emotional roller coaster. Some might expect that going into a Picoult book, but I don’t normally get that emotional. At most, I might laugh a bit or get a little annoyed. This book had me all over the place and I’m glad I was home alone when I read it.

There were moments while reading this book that I was laughing out loud. There were times I was so angry I wanted to throw the book across the room. There were even times that I had trouble seeing the words on the page because I was crying so hard. Guys, book don’t make me cry. That never happens.

I flew through this book. I started it on a Saturday, but I had to put it down before I was half way through it. I didn’t want to but I was getting a headache. That stupid headache didn’t go away until Monday morning. As soon as it was gone I picked this book back up and just sat there and read. I’m a slow reader and I still had over half the book to read so it took me about 10 hours to read it, but I did it because I just couldn’t put it down.

When I first finished the book, I gave it four stars because I was left with questions about a few characters. However, it has been a week since reading it and I can’t stop thinking about it and how much I loved it. So of course, I had to bump it up to five stars. Yes I  may have some questions, but Sing You Home was a great book and deserves a full five stars. I can’t wait to read more by Jodi Picoult.

Review: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

20821087The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Details: Hardcover, 564 pages
Publication: September 16th 2014 by Riverhead Books
Source: I won an ARC from Goodreads
Buy it: Book Depository
My Rating: 4 stars

Summary: It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa — a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants — life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life — or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

Review: I have been meaning to read something by Sarah Waters for years. So when I won The Paying Guests from Goodreads, I was surprised and super excited. As soon as I finished my library books, I picked this up and couldn’t put it down.

It was a little slow at first, but it was so well written and I found the characters so interesting that I didn’t mind that it was slow. It wasn’t long before I was completely pulled in and I needed to keep reading to know how it would all end.

I own Tipping the Velvet and hope to get to it soon. I will also be buying the rest of Sarah Waters books in the future. If the rest of her books are as good as this one, I may have new favorite author.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read The Paying Guests and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future.

Review: Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

790289Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

Details: Paperback, 256 pages
Published: April 1st 2001 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: My Mom bought it for me
Buy it: The Book Depository
My Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Since his parents’ divorce, John’s mother hasn’t touched him, her new fiancé wants them to move away, and his father would rather be anywhere than at Friday night dinner with his son. It’s no wonder John writes articles like “Interview with the Stepfather” and “Memoirs from Hell.” The only release he finds is in homemade zines like the amazing Escape Velocity by Marisol, a self-proclaimed “Puerto Rican Cuban Yankee Lesbian.” Haning around the Boston Tower Records for the new issue of Escape Velocity, John meets Marisol and a hard love is born.

While at first their friendship is based on zines, dysfunctional families, and dreams of escape, soon both John and Marisol begin to shed their protective shells. Unfortunately, John mistakes this growing intimacy for love, and a disastrous date to his junior prom leaves that friendship in ruins. Desperately hoping to fix things, John convinces Marisol to come with him to a zine conference on Cape Cod. On the sandy beaches by the Bluefish Wharf Inn, John realizes just how hard love can be.

With keen insight into teenage life, Ellen Wittlinger delivers a story of adolescence that is fierce and funny — and ultimately transforming — even as it explores the pain of growing up.

Review: I’ve had this book on my wish list for years, so I was so happy when I finally got my hands on it. Thanks Mom!

I was expecting to like Hard Love, but I ended up loving it. It was so good that I read it in one sitting. I know that isn’t saying much since it’s not a very big book, but I’ve been struggling with reading lately, so the fact that I was able to do that surprised me.

I basically loved every single thing about this book. I think the only thing I didn’t like was that Marisol is always saying she’s a lesbian. I understand why she is always saying it, but after a while it’s just like you’re gay, we get it. Other than that I had no problems. This might even be one of my favorite books now. I really need to get my hands on Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story.

Review: Calendar Girl by Stella Duffy

19448697Calendar Girl (Saz Martin #1) by Stella Duffy

Details: Paperback, 207 pages
Published: October 21st 1999 by Serpent’s Tail (first published December 12th 1991)
Source: I have no idea. I’ve had this book for years.
My Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Maggie has fallen for the girl with the Kelly McGillis body, a mysterious woman who can’t commit herself. Meanwhile Saz Martin is hot on the trail of a woman known only as September, who commute between London and New York in a whirlwind of drug smuggling, gambling and high-class prostitution.

Review: I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this book. I can’t even explain why because I have no idea. I was hoping I would enjoy it, but I just didn’t think I would. I really wish I knew why that is. All I can say is that I’m glad I was wrong. Boy was I wrong. Guys, I really, really liked this book.

I absolutely loved Saz. She was by far the best character. The others were okay, but there was something about Saz. There is this one part, and I wont spoil it, but it made me laugh out loud. I couldn’t believe she got herself into that situation and I loved how she got out of it.

This book might not be for everyone, but I definitely think everyone should pick it up and give it a chance.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read Calendar Girl and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future.