Saturday, November 7, 2009

No Going Back by Jonathan Langford

No Going Back by Jonathan Langford

For his debut novel, Jonathan has hit a homerun with this heartfelt, compassionately honest coming-of-age story of a fifteen year old's struggle with same-sex attraction. When Paul Ficklin realizes he's gay,he does come out to his best friend Chad Mortenson, whose been his best friend for many years. At first, Chad is livid and stays away from Paul.

When Paul tells his mom, he gets the love and support he needs, but when he is dragged to the GSA Club at his high school, he's torn about whether to continue to go or to quit going, as he is harassed by both straight kids and gay kids and even his LDS friends.

When Barbara, Paul's mom, confides to a sister in the restroom at RS, she isn't aware that someone overheard them talking and the sister spreads gossip to Sandy Mortenson, Chad's mom and the Bishop's wife. Sandy is upset that her husband has not confided in her about Paul's being gay and worried that Chad's friendship could cause problems.

Even though Paul is worried that too many kids and ward members will find out that he's gay, he still attends the GSA Club, then when an outburst from a student causes problems, Paul stops going. Paul has decided that his membership in the Church is more important and he attempts to tell the kids how he feels about being LDS and staying true to his baptismal covenants. At one time, he struggles with the attraction he feels for one guy in the GSA Club and confides in his bishop. When a student bashes him at school one day in front of the entire school, he feels shunned.

This powerful novel is about friendship, and how Chad comes to understand the importance of what friendships are all about, how a person can overcome temptation and be redeemed through prayer and scripture reading. I liked how the characters are not sugar-coated, like some LDS novels can be with super perfect members. Bishop Mortenson has problems communicating with his wife and vice versa, even with his co-workers he has issues with. My hat goes off to Jonathan for bringing this controversial topic to us in a more understanding light. As a Church, we need to treat everyone with love, kindness and compassion, no matter what the circumstance. Our Savior Jesus Christ most definitely does.

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

My copy of No Going Back was a free review copy from Chris Bigelow, publisher of Zarahemla Books.

Zarahemla Books
Pub. Date: October 2009


JoAnn Arnold said...

Sounds like an Interesting book with a great reveiw, as always.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Hi Teri! Excellent review. I have Jonathan's book here to read and thought I would review it on my blog as well when I'm done. I wanted to support the author and publisher, especially in a case like this when it's such a difficult subject and therefore sales might be low.

I am glad to have a bit of a preview before I read it.