Jonathan A. Taylor; THE RITES OF PASSAGE; ArnoLand Press (Fiction: LGBTQ+) 19.95 ISBN: 9780999533635
Byline: Constance Augusta A. Zaber
Jonathan A. Taylor's The Rites of Passage is marketed as the first in a series of novels; it also ably stands on its own. The story follows Jamie Goldberg from elementary school to college, as he grows from an abused boy into a self-possessed young man. His life is a symphony of pain, humor, filth, and beauty as he struggles to come to terms with his identity in homophobic America.
Jamie's mother is preoccupied with her political work; his father is more interested in sports than in him. They leave Jamie on his own. Unsure of what his same-sex desires mean, Jamie alternates between obscuring them behind his love for Wagner and attempting to "cure" himself through ritualized sexual abuse. In college, he discovers strange new worlds, alien to his working-class Jewish life back home. The future suddenly has potential.
For all the violence in the novel, the story also includes moments of joy and hope, as well as sharp...