The Preacher’s Son, Kevin L Backer’s first novel, stands out as a heartwarming coming of age story for America’s gay youth. The exemplary novel details the decisions all gay youth must make-do they come out to their parents, family and friends? And face the consequences of their decisions? Or do they continue to hide who they are and who they love?
“This was a great book, written very well, and a subject which affects so many lives today. It was very refreshing to hear that other people endure what others do. I would love to see more books like that.”
“I love this book and had a very hard time putting it down. I couldn't wait until the next day to read more. I kept wondering what was going to happen next with Paul and Jeremy. This book was very emotional for me because I grew up in a Pentecostal Free Will Baptist church and had heard all my life that being gay was a sin. I could feel the emotion of the characters in the book based on the experiences I have had in my life…this book is well written and would make a great movie. I could picture the characters in my mind as I read the book. This book made me anxious, laugh, cry and was a healing experience for me. I hope Kevin Backer will pursue the movie idea and write other books. Thanks Kevin I will never forget this book.”
|Publisher:||LitFire Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My hopes for this book were too high. I think the story's premise is good; there is great potential for a novel that explores the impact of a gay son's coming out in a Christian fundamentalist family. But this one doesn't work well for several reasons. The author overworks terms of endearment and other personal references to the point of being annoying: e.g., "buddy" and "Reverend." Also, this is supposed to be about the family of a Baptist preacher, and as a Texas Baptist, I can tell you that the characteristics of this family don't fit the profile of a Texas Baptist preacher's family. A Baptist preacher would never arrive at his new church without having been there before. Baptists "call" a new pastor, and only hire him after his having been thoroughly introduced to and vetted by the congregation. A new Baptist pastor would have preached at his new church at least once and probably more by the time he is hired. Furthermore, it's hard to believe that a recently widowed, Baptist pastor would fall into a relationship with an employee of his new church as quickly as Joseph Banks does with his secretary. It could happen, of course, but it's more likely that a fundamentalist preacher would at least make a show of fighting the temptation of being alone with a woman parishoner so quickly. Along the same vein, the teary-eyed confession of Joseph Banks to his congregation, in the wake of finding out that his son is gay, doesn't work. Even if some congregants in a Baptist church might have sympathy for gay church members, they certainly would not be likely to even tepidly embrace a newly hired pastor after finding out that his son is gay. Their responses would be instant and emphatic, if not hysterical. It is much more likely that the new pastor would be fired. After all, as the leader of his flock, a minister should certainly "have control" over his own family. In regard to the church affiliation of this fictional family, the story would have been more convincing if the denomination had been something more "high church" than fundamentalist Baptist. Also, the sex scenes between the two boys seem excessive and far more mature than I would expect between two high school boys. This book's sexual content is unbelievable and there is way too much of it. In fact, those parts read more like a sex manual than a literary device meant to capture the essence of two teenage boys who think they are in love with each other. Finally, the fairy god-mother "Mama Maw" is beyond the furtherest reaches of my imagination. How many people like her exist anywhere? She weaves into the story a Cinderella quality that just doesn't fit. Her part in the resolution of the conflict is too perfect...too complete. A loving, supportive grandmother could have a place in this kind of story, but this grandma needs some toning down. On the positive side, I like the teenagers in this book. Other than the love-making between the two boys, I think they are believable and personable, too. Jeremy's lesbian, best friend is particularly effective. In spite of the negative points I have made about The Preacher's Son, I think the author has talent. I wouldn't have bothered to write a review at all, if I hadn't seen his potential. It will be interesting to observe how his writing style changes, over time.
When I say I know these characters in the book, I mean I've met real people that I presume have gone through the same ordeals as Paul and Jeremy. This book is one of those 'quiet moment' type of books that carries you away from your own troubles, keeps you entertained, makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you wish there was a sequel when you reach the end. Needless to say, I loved the book, the first read in many years. It restored my interest in reading and having just retired I hope I find many similar books in the near future. My usual read is science fiction and mysteries, with the occasional gay fiction finding its way into my hands. The Preacher's Son was an accidental find and I look forward to other 'accidents'.
In less than a year's time, there have been drastic changes in Paul Banks' life. The 18 year old high school senior lost his mother and younger sister in a horrible car crash, and then he had to leave behind most of his friends when he and his father Joseph, a Baptist minister, relocated to a small town outside of Dallas TX. But the biggest change was the slowly-growing realization that the strong feelings he had for his new friend, Jeremy, were more than just liking him as a friend. He didn't feel complete unless they were together, and he thought of him constantly when they were apart. When a school bully beat up Jeremy, Paul stepped in with a ferocity that surprised them both. As their relationship eventually became sexual, Paul alternated between feelings of euphoria when they were together, and episodes of guilt and fear when they were apart. Paul had been taught all his life that such feelings for another boy were wrong, and his father's ministry even included a center that tried to 'rehabilitate' gays with medication and therapy. He knew he'd have to keep their relationship a secret, but secrets have a tendency to get revealed in small Texas towns. This is one of the best coming-out/coming-of-age novels I have ever read, and absolutely THE best in reconciling religious teachings with attitudes about homosexuality. Using diverse and believable characters, the author paints a vivid and realistic picture of the issues and emotions of these young men, as well as those of the adults involved with them. Classified by I-Universe as 'erotica,¿ the sexually-explicit passages simply document the development of the relationship, which is integral to the plot. There's even a romantic 'Sleepless in Seattle'-ish climatic scene that is sure to bring tears to readers' eyes! Outstanding effort, by an author I'd like to hear from again. FIVE huge, teary stars out of five!