The Perfect Family

The Perfect Family

by Kathryn Shay

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Overview

What happens to the "perfect family" when the future suddenly changes in the most unexpected way?

Seventeen-year old Jamie Davidson doesn't think being gay should be such a big deal...until he comes out to his parents and friends. Even as Jamie celebrates no longer needing to hide his true self and looks forward to the excitement of openly dating another boy, the entire Davidson family is thrown into turmoil. Jamie's father Mike can't reconcile his religious beliefs with his son's sexuality. His brother Brian is harassed by his jock buddies and angry at Jamie for complicating all their lives. Maggie, his mother, fears being able to protect her son while struggling to save her crumbling marriage. And Jamie feels guilty for the unhappiness his disclosure has caused. Every member of their “perfect family” must search their hearts and souls to reconnect with each other in this honest, heartwarming, and hopeful look at the redemptive power of love and family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781602821811
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication date: 09/14/2010
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kathryn Shay is a lifelong writer. At fifteen, she penned a short story about a female newspaper reporter in New York City and her fight to make a name for herself in a world of male journalists. She never stopped writing, even as she went on to build a successful career in the New York state school system—a true vocation for her. But by the early 1990s, while still teaching, she began her first novel. Despite enduring two years of rejections, she persevered. And on a snowy December afternoon in 1994, Kathryn Shay sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance.

Since that sale, Kathryn has written twenty-five books for Harlequin, ten mainstream contemporary romances and two novellas for the Berkley Publishing Group. More books are contracted and on the way! Her most recent sale is a general fiction work for Bold Strokes Books, to be released in September, 2010.

Kathryn has become known for her powerful characterizations and her heart-wrenching, emotional writing. In testament to her skill, she has had one of her books serialized in the December 2003 Cosmopolitan magazine and has been quoted in People magazine and The Wall Street Journal. For her romances, she has won five RT BookClub Reviewers Choice Awards, three Holt Medallions, four Desert Quill Awards, the Golden Leaf Award and The Bookseller’s Best Award.

Even in light of her writing success, that initial love of teaching never wavered for Kathryn. She finished out her teaching career in 2004, retiring from the same school where she began. These days, she lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children. "My life is very full," she reports, "but very happy. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to pursue and achieve both my dreams."

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The Perfect Family 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
bigbearphx More than 1 year ago
After struggling with "coming out" to his family, seventeen year old Jamie Davidson finally blurts it out to his mom, Maggie, a college instructor. As the revelation is also made to his devout Catholic father, Mike, and his jock older brother, Brian, we see the cracks start to form in the framework of this previously cohesive family. The fact that Jamie is dating Luke, a baseball teammate of Brian's, makes it even tougher for Brian at school, and he lashes out at Jamie for putting him in an uncomfortable position. Meanwhile, his parents, who had some communication issues - and a disagreement about Mike's blind adherence to Catholic dogma - even before Jamie came out to them, drift further apart, and are tempted to cheat on each other. Maggie is also dealing with her own mother, whose Catholic priest had advised her to disown Maggie's older sister, once she married a divorced man. That sister is now back in Maggie's life, and is helping her get through her feelings about Jamie's revelation. Meanwhile, Jamie is upset what this is doing to his family, but refuses to consider his father's religion-based approach to the problem. At the same time, Jamie is helping Luke deal with his own coming out, to parents who were not anyway near as understanding as his own. This well-written book is especially noteworthy, at a time when the suicide of gay teens has been in the news. It illustrates the conflicting psychological and varying religious perspectives on homosexuality, shows where support can be found in communities and with straight allies, and could be invaluable in encouraging a dialogue on such issues among families going through similar events. There is frank talk about suicides, and things that parents should be attuned to notice. The pace is engaging but not overly dramatic, providing a realistic journey for any reader. Give it five stars out of five. - Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves one thinking
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can under stand how he feels about coming out and telling the world somthing that may hurt everyone. I have not read this but by the preview i am def going to try. Everyone has a right to be happy and the boys parents should understsnd that. Could you imagine the discrimination he gets JUST for liking boys?
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From My Blog...The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay is a novel based on the Davidson family and what happens within the family when they learn their son is gay. Jamie is 17 years old and believes it is time to inform his family and friends that he is gay. Jamie is looking forward to being able to be himself around those he cares about, yet unprepared for the intense and diverse reactions to his announcement from family and friends alike. The Perfect Family takes a look at how one announcement; a boy speaking the truth, can change an entire family, friends and neighbours. Shay does an excellent job in portraying the differing opinions to Jamie¿s announcement and through dialogue, descriptions and realistic characters, the story comes across as an honest look inside one family¿s life with a wonderful ending. Thankfully all families are different and some handle the news far better than the Davidson¿s initial response. I think The Perfect Family would make for an excellent choice for book discussion groups due to the controversial issues and I would not hesitate to recommend The Perfect Family to any reader.
luv2read29 More than 1 year ago
Katryn Shay really hits a home run with this book. Being of Catholic faith, having an gay uncle and a son that is going into high school next year, I at times could not beleive how her family and friends reacted to the news of the young man being gay. And how the church took such a stand against the mother and son. I was not broght up that my uncle was any different then anyone else and thats how I raised my son. at times the book was hard to read, heart renching. I will be looking for more books by this author. If there is a book club or anyone that has read this book it would make for great discussion.
PGHKelly More than 1 year ago
Poorly developed characters and a poorly developed story, which is surprising since the author lets us know she, too, has a gay son in the notes at the end of the book. Gay son comes out. No background on whether he struggled with his orientation and no backstory on his struggle on deciding to come out. His relationship with another boy goes from zero to SERIOUS in no time at all. Mom is accepting, but has to spill her guts to her best friend, newly returned big sister, and counselor at every step of the way. Dad is devoutly religious and can't accept, acting abominally along the way. Big Brother is a depicted as a homophobic jock and behaves equally as abominally. Gay son's boyfriend's dad is far less accepting and understanding despite being a doctor. Gay son's longtime friend can no longer be friends with him because he's gay. Big Brother's jock friends exhibit every single homophobic behavior known to man. The priest at their church is hard-nosed and believes that the way of the Catholic church is the only way, everything is black and white and no other way or religion is right or acceptable. Along the way, every single gay stereotype is played upon and every single discriminatory thing possible happens, along with a few other big bad events that are glossed over (dysfunctional, abusive family, a prodigal daughter, a revelation about an abortion, near infidelity and a crumbling marriage, teen suicide, religion and religious tolerance). When the BIG BAD THING happens, all of a sudden, gay son's dad and brother are all changed for the better. Characters in the book who behaved horribly are suddenly changed an apologetic because they don't want to be seen as bigots, and all the world is A-okay. The book is full of high-school level conversation, exploited discrimination and stereotypes and is a contrived, preachy, poorly written, weak advertisement for PFLAG. Given the author's experience with her own son, this could have been a much better-written, better developed story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This problem novel means well, but resorts to stereotypes, and substitutes expository passages for dialogue. Jamie, a high school student, experiences first love and comes out as gay to his family and friends. The story is very predictable. Just about everything horrible that could happen to a gay teen happens to him, although he remains remarkably well-adjusted. The focus of the novel, though, is more on his suburban family, and especially on how his being gay affects his liberal, educated, psychology professor mother. The boy's father is a conservative, devout Catholic. With the mother's protective instincts on high alert, she is not sure whether she can trust her husband to choose their son over the Church. A major weakness of the book is the author's tendency to infodump and editorialize, so that we read not only about safe sex, but also PFLAG, Dignity, blood bank policies, clerical celibacy, allies, the rate of suicide among gay and lesbian teens, and what it means for a United Church of Christ congregation to be "open and affirming." The grammar also goes to pieces in about the last 5 percent of the book. Although the kernel of the story is a teenage boy realizing he is gay, this is not a book primarily for teens. It would probably be most appreciated by gay/lesbian people's family members who have lingering concerns about whether they're doing the right things.
sociallife More than 1 year ago
INFORM US THAT SOMETIMES WE ARE WALKING IN A BUBBLE. THINKING EVERYTHING IS WELL THEN ONE PROBLEM BURST BURST THE BUBBLE. WITH TRUE LOVE THING CAN BE WORK OUT .. THIS IS gODS LOVE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book so reveals what it must be like to handle such a delicate situation. Iit is so well captured and realistic. Your heart goes out to the entire family and rejoices with them in the end. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charmedreader More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Everyone should read this. I agree with several characters in the book...... The person "coming out" is the same person they were before they told you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Handled very well. If you know a teen who is trying to come to terms with their sexuality - this is a good insight. Discusses how families feel and handle the news.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It really makes you understand the issues with the catholic faith and gay people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book i would truly recommend this to anyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written book - I would urge everyone to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an absolute eye opener
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book approprite for a twelve year old?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read. Some loose ends but maybe that will be another story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One the best stories I'v ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a great book
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