3 journalers for this copy...
Peter Wells is a well-known gay NZ author, whose books often explore growing up as a homosexual in small-town New Zealand.
From the cover blurb:
"James is eleven, on the threshold of discovery. But he can't find the map that will explain where he fits in or who he is. His parents are away and he is staying with family friends. The sea is rising towards high tide and he is a boy overboard."
26 June: I've offered this up on the bookrelay site, despite not having read it yet. I do intend to read it before sending it out, but hopefully I should be able to do that pretty quickly (certainly within a week or so).
Offered up on bookrelay.
There's also a compare-and-contrast subplot in which the man in whose house Jamie is staying appears to be on the brink of molesting him, but is warned off - and nothing further said. Yet Jamie recalls another incident when he and a friend saw a man walking around nude on the beach, and having mentioned this to an adult found themselves being pressured to point out the "molester" even though the man hadn't even seemed to notice them, much less do anything to them. The discrepancy here is not mentioned by Jamie himself - we pick it up from the narrative - but it's both believable and distressing.
Other aspects of the story center on the unknowable interior world of a child, whether he's idly observing the fish in the creek, mooning over the boy he's infatuated with, or contemplating his future. I could empathize with a lot of that, although I never got as entangled with other kids as Jamie did, so his constant focus on them made me feel a bit claustrophobic. In some ways this reminded me of Ray Bradbury's story "The Playground," in which a man longs to go back to his childhood days only to discover - when his wish is granted - that the playground was hell rather than heaven... Things aren't quite so bad for Jamie, but it's still pretty rough.
I think that by the end of the story Jamie's feeling more comfortable with himself and is closer to his brother; it ends very sweetly, though with no guarantees as to how things will be later on. Interesting story...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I plan to leave the book on the bookshelf in the window of Coffee Labs in Tarrytown at about noon. [Since I'm driving down, the timing may be off by a good bit either way, but eventually the book should be there!]
My husband and I grabbed a handful of books once the window area cleared out to see if there was anything we wanted. Of our pile this one was the only registered, so we had to let it travel some more(plus it was from New Zealand which tickled our fancy!)
I've never heard of the book, but might give it a read. It's back in Kentucky with me right now, but we will get it moving again in the near future.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Left this on the "Leave One, Take One" book shelf. This book has traveled all the way from New Zealand, so I'd love to see where it can end up!