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Thursday, February 06, 2003

Book review: Common Sons


This book will upset people whose childhood included rejection by their parents or their classmates. It will upset people who think everyone should look, think, and act alike. It will even upset people who know the satisfaction of treating everyone with dignity and respect. In other words, this book will disturb countless readers. Why? Because Ronald Donaghe offers such an honest and detailed look at two boys who fall in love with each other in a staunchly anti-gay New Mexico town.

Despite the novel's many portrayals of negative and even violent responses to the love between Tom and Joel, Donaghe delivers an ultimately inspiring tale of how two people can overcome the obstacles that could deter their happiness and honesty. This book can give hope to the many gays who still fear being themselves, and it can give hope to the many older gays who worry that their young counterparts will always face nothing but hatred and violence. But its appeal isn't limited to gays; nongays might read it to understand people who are different from themselves, or just because they like reading a well-written and exciting novel.