It's well enough written (mostly, except... uh?!), and it plods along at a reasonable pace, but there are absolutely no surprises here.
Except Author Brian Francis' obsession with bodily functions. For example, certain subjects make Joyce "physically ill", but really do you know anyone who actually vomits because they think for a second someone even their son is gay? Francis pulls this one out several times. And Joyce spends a lot of the time in the bathroom.

Joyce's "change of heart" which is telegraphed from 1000 miles away (it's sort of the point of the story) happens because she meets a man who... what? Maybe reminds her of her son? Except really we've no idea because this earth changing relationship is not only not explored in depth, it's barely shown. Joyce changes because we've reach the part of the story where she's caught up with herself in the present (it's told as a series of flashbacks) so in order to go forward something needs to happen. ( Ignore the hype pleading with you not to read the last 60 pages in public as you'll cry, hard maybe more than once. I cry at everything, I was moved some, sure but beyond that?)
A well intentioned novel but there are lots of mother/gay child stories out there that are better. (There is one interesting plot twist that seems both contrived and yet, somehow not only does it provide the most interesting parts of the book, I wonder if it's actually happened... indeed I though it would have made a better centre focus for the book. )
See if you can dig up Consenting Adult by Laura Z. Hobson (it's a bit dated but it was the first really positive novel I read dealing with homosexuality, family and growth.) Or try "In the Gloaming" by Alice Elliott Dark a devastating short story in the collection of the same name.

ceedeegee57's rating:
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