Friday, January 27, 2023

The Queering: The Life and Death of Brooke Skipstone

The Queering: The Life and Death of Brooke SkipstoneThe Queering: The Life and Death of Brooke Skipstone by Brooke Skipstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An emotional coming-of-age story about identity, friendship, and love...

In Brooke Skipstone’s “The Queering: The Life and Death of Brooke Skipstone” the reader discovers a 70-year-old grandmother in Clear, Alaska who desperately needs help escaping from her murderous brother and a homophobic podcaster who wants to expose her lesbian romance novels. Taylor MacKenzie, ‘suffocating in a loveless marriage and a lonely existence’, finds solace only in her writing, which she does under the pseudonym Brooke Skipstone, the name of her college best friend and lover who tragically passed away in 1974. She writes an autobiography about her time with Brooke and shares it with people closest to her in the hopes of receiving compassion and acceptance because she is afraid of being killed before anybody in her family or community understands her life story. She stirs up controversy in the conservative community after being accused of encouraging the queering and debasing of America by a local podcaster, but she fights back with the aid of a new, unexpected friend. Can she withstand the insults and abuse from haters? Can she defend the queerness she stands for? And will she make it in the end? …

The contrast between tone and content is a characteristic talent of only a few novelists. Multi-award-winning author, Skipstone, pays as much attention to her sentences as she does to her overall themes, shifting or consolidating meaning with the use of a single word. Her writing is impeccably honed, full of juxtapositions and qualifications that help to create an emotive atmosphere throughout about identity, friendship, and love. An excellent read that comes highly recommended.

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