Gerry Burnie is a retired professor who has lectured extensively on the topic of pioneer settlement. His family connections to the Baldwin area of York Region-the setting of his novel-go back nearly two hundred years. Therefore, he has called upon both his academic understanding and his sentiment in writing this novel.
In this fictional tale of pioneer life told from a gay perspective, cousins Sean and Patrick McConaghy forge a new life in Canada in the 1820s.
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
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Two Irish Lads is, quite simply, a wonderfully refreshing novel about a subject that would be controversial even if it were set sometime in the past thirty years (e.g., Brokeback Mountain). In making things interesting, this story has been set in the nineteenth century, when homosexuality was completely forbidden. Since we know that homosexuality has existed since the dawn of man, we know that a story like Two Irish Lads is a probable fact of history. The style of Two Irish Lads-that is, the journal style-is reminiscent of the time in which the book is set. I believe that is why it works as well as it does. Moreover, the author's knowledge of the nineteenth century is apparent, as the setting is presented so authentically that the reader would almost think that he lived and wrote during that time. In short, author Gerry Burnie has successfully written a distinctive and gripping story about an unlikely set of characters, and my view of pioneer life may never be the same on account of it.
I am a third year journalism major with a keen interest in history, so when I heard about the Two Irish Lads I just had to give it a read. Author, Gerry Burnie, has written a journal-style novel with such credibility that I had to check the publication date to convince myself that it wasn't a reprint from the 19th century. I also enjoyed his attention to detail throughout, and the use of footnotes to elaborate on the historical facts involved--e.g., I didn't know how April Fool's Day got its name until now. Having said that, I would have liked to see a bit more `raunchiness', but given the era (c.1820) I suppose he went as far as he could go in keeping with the morality of the time. Nevertheless, the sex scenes are certainly `sexy' enough, especially the one on the horse's back--personally, I can't wait to try that one myself--and the adventure, humour and brawls make up for the rest of it. The ending is quite a surprise too, but I won't spoil it for the other readers. I highly recommend this story and author to all those who enjoy m/m historical fiction and romance.