Starting Now by S.C. Wynne

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From Riptide:Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Randy Wright believes the best in others. He’s immediately drawn to Francis, even though Francis is hardened and wary. When Francis is attacked by one of his johns, Randy and his family take him in and offer him temporary work. Randy always thought he was straight, but something about Francis has him yearning for more than just friendship, and realizing he might be bisexual.

Francis is attracted to Randy too, and Randy and his parents say they’ve always believed in gay rights. But talk is cheap. What are the odds that these Christian parents will remain open-minded when it’s their own son in a relationship with another man?

 

Kimi’s thoughts:

Every now and again a book comes along that speaks to the heart. this is one such book- a bittersweet tale about a young man who is homeless and is selling his body to survive. He gets food where he can, including showing up at places that offer food to customers and event attendees. This leads him to try to mingle at an event run by Grace and Light Church where he doesn’t manage to blend in as well as he hopes. This leads to him becoming a sort of project for the pastor’s family, though they are genuinely fond of him personally.

Just how their deep-seated prejudices they don’t know they have actually run is revealed though when their son Randy, tipped to be his father’s pastoral successor, realizes that he’s bi-sexual and is in fact in love with Francis. The prejudicial attitudes explored here run true, from certain church members’ attitudes towards the homeless in general  to the way sex workers are viewed, as well as the old chestnut about a gay person being able to ‘confuse’ a straight person and make them do things they shouldn’t.  It’s also a story about courage and personal growth, not just Randy’s and Francis’, but that of others who are involved in situations that arise. While gritty, it isn’t a tear you apart read, but one that manages to uplift and shed a light on the darker corners of modern society.

 

Rating: 4.5

kimisig

 

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