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Common Sons

Common Sons

4.5 9
by Ronald L. Donaghe
Joel's rural life of high school and farming in Common, New Mexico, is changed forever when Tom comes to town. The son of a preacher, Tom reaches out to Joel in friendship, and their bond to each other becomes as tight as brothers. Joel's openness to his own feelings and acceptance of himself (a healthy trait instilled by his loving parents) allows him to explore


Joel's rural life of high school and farming in Common, New Mexico, is changed forever when Tom comes to town. The son of a preacher, Tom reaches out to Joel in friendship, and their bond to each other becomes as tight as brothers. Joel's openness to his own feelings and acceptance of himself (a healthy trait instilled by his loving parents) allows him to explore some new and confusing feelings he has for Tom. His confusion clears, however, after a reckless drinking bout ends with a very public kiss from Tom. But Tom's torment of sin and self-incrimination are far from over. Common Sons, the first in a series entitled "Common Threads in the Life," is a moving tale of self-discovery, love, and finding the courage to come out and come to grips with the truth in the face of hatred and adversity.

Author Bio: Author of the best-selling novel Common Sons, Ronald L. Donaghe has also been published in several anthologies. He has completed two more books in the sequel to Common Sons: The Blind Season and The Salvation Mongers, as well as an epic fantasy novel, Cinátis. In addition, he will publish an autobiographical account of being openly gay in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era entitled My Year of Living Heterosexually and Other Adventures in Hell.

Product Details

iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.89(d)

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Common Sons 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first fiction book I ever read about homosexuality was THE FRONT RUNNER, Patricia Nell Warren's ground-breaking 1974 novel. Even though it's been 19 years since I read it, I still remember Harlan Brown and Billy Sive quite clearly. +++++ 19 years from now, I suspect I will still remember Joel Reece and Tom Allen, too. Many of the events in COMMON SONS, set in Common, New Mexico, are played out on a daily basis in every small town across the U.S. Two young men begin their voyage of discovery about themselves, their sexual orientations and identities, and neither of them, nor their families or town, will ever be the same. +++++ What I liked best about this book was that neither boy is a stereotype, and there are no easy answers to the conflicts that arise. Joel is a popular junior, a talented boxer, who won a state title the previous school year. He's not sure, but he thinks he would like to follow in his father's footsteps and be a farmer. Tom is the new kid in town, a preacher's son, and he's a senior. He's handsome enough that many of the girls are interested in him. But he only has eyes for Joel. +++++ The fact that gay and lesbian kids across the country manage to find one another and build relationships and community is a testament to the strength and perseverance we all possess. Despite almost no resources, few open-hearted adults, and a whole lot of religious condemnation, Tom and Joel fall in love and determine to stay together, through thick and thin. This is not to say that they don't face terrible barriers, not the least of which is the enmity of small-minded and homophobic individuals in their town. Still, the courage Tom and Joe display is remarkable. It is a tribute to them that they open their own hearts to others, too. I can already see that they will, in their own ways, make a huge impact on the Common community. +++++ Ron Donaghe has written a book full of heart and hope. His style is clear and clean, and every scene is finely crafted by a writer of great talent. I very much look forward to starting the next book in the series, THE BLIND SEASON.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book to me started out a little slow but once I got into it I loved it.
jamaisjeune More than 1 year ago
I read pretty much every LGBT book which seems even a tad bit interesting, and this book looked interesting. But unfortunately, I was overall quite underwhelmed. I didn't find the characters very interesting and the plot was a bit predictable. I'd skip this one if you're looking for a stylistically-interesting read.
Bradman25 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best, most heartwarming coming of age story that I have read. Great characters, and such a supportive family structure. Love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was another outstanding gay book. I am so glad that I live in a time where you can purchase these books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the classic tale that so many of us have had to live through, that coming of age, and coming out, and it is never easy. I recommend this book to everyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
'A real classic!' I was told by more than one person who recommended I read this Donaghe book. I was doubtful. I couldn't imagine what a coming-out tale of two teenagers in rural New Mexico could possibly hold out for someone like me who has the reputation (not easily deniable) of having 'been there', 'done it all', 'not even having bothered with some of the T-shirts'. COMMON SONS, frankly, resonated as a book simply too bucolic, too rustic, too back-to-the-good-old-days-on-the-farm nostalgic. Rather, give me the porno stars, the hustlers, the monied and world-weary fashion designers who hold court in the ultra-smart salons of the metropolitan cities of the world. Those are the people with whom I'm most familiar. Those are the people with whom I populate my books. And those -- I thought -- are the only gay people about whom I want to read, in that they're the only ones who can possibly hold my interest. Except, COMMON SONS is into its Fourth Edition and, as a writer, I can't help being impressed by that. Impressed enough, as a matter of fact, to one day have actually picked up Donaghe's book and read it through, without putting it down. Genuinely impressed by it. Genuinely impressed by the author who, in a few simple words, convinced me (not all that easily convinced), that he intimately knows enough about growing cotton in rural New Mexico to portray an accurate word-picture of that life-style. That he knows enough about teenagers in love to have once been a teenager in love. That he knows enough about bigotry, social ostracism, religious anti-gay frenzy, in rural America, to have personally run those gauntlets and emerged (if not completely starry-eyed) still optimistic at the other ends. COMMON SONS isn't a mushy-mushy adolescent love story, though it 'is' a love-story, though the characters 'DO' mutter that four-letter word ('love') that none of my characters would likely mutter if given the alternative of eternal damnation. But, it's more than just a love story, in its depiction of two gay teenagers finding their interlinked way in a world that often doesn't put out readily available signposts. It's as much a tale of coming of age as of coming-out. It's a good, upbeat novel, the reading of which can leave you feeling good. And, you don't get better than that, my friends -- even within the jaded contexts of my books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before reading Ronald Donaghe¿s novel Common Sons, I read his more recent novel The Salvation Mongers. Both novels take place in New Mexico, and some of the characters from Common Sons make brief appearances in The Salvation Mongers. My deep enjoyment of The Salvation Mongers gave me high expectations for the novel it followed. To set the expectations even higher, the third printing of Common Sons begins with some of the many comments that readers have sent Donaghe over the years; those readers tell of the many ways Common Sons touched their lives. Common Sons will touch your life too! Lovers Joel and Tom seem like many of the masculine young men that most adults remember from high school. Donaghe makes them completely real and believable as he introduces us to their struggles, doubts, conflicts, explorations, love, and triumph. Donaghe also makes the small-town setting seem completely real, describing the landscape, the church politics, the farming, and everything else with vibrant honesty and fascination. This novel easily met my extremely high expectations and left me feeling hopeful for the countless gays and lesbians who face hostility for trying to maintain committed relationships.