Book Review: Boy & Girl by Alan McCluskeycategories: Book, Mind Traveling, Alternate Universe, Relationships, Free Will, Fantasy
Author: Alan McCluskey
Publisher: Secret Paths Editions
Deep reflection, passion, and a hinted stream of consciousnessIt is 1960, Peter McCloud a 12 year old boy enters into his sister's room secretly to apply pink lipstick and wear her favorite nightdress. Fag, Queer, and Pansy are the names he is called by bully Priscilla Wit. Fervent kisses from true love Fi and strong stoic support from a vast array of characters will tug at ones heart; with rich imagery is the relational world of Boy & Girl written by Alan McCluskey. Boy & Girl is not about homosexuality, bullying, hypocritical attitudes, or transgender issues. It is about relationships and the powerful acceptance that one can learn and cultivate into the world. Alan McCluskey writes with deep reflection, passion, and a hinted stream of consciousness.
The character development in Boy & Girl was absolutely flawless. Peter is able to telepathically transfer into other worlds and minds throughout the story. This allows the reader to watch a maturity of him. For example Peter, after much antagonism from Sis is able to heal his sister while visiting the Psychiatric hospital. Moreover, the question of free will and choice become an underlying theme of the novel. Kaitling is the strong independent warrior that rescues Peter from Priscilla and offers advice to Fi and Peter. I also appreciated the character of Pricilla and the secrets that Peter and Fi find out about her. My favorite character was "God". This is where the author uses Stream of Consciousness as he has a dialog with Peter. God states, "Writing a story about a place calls that world into existence. Sometimes, as the author, you accompany it for a while. But even as you write, the characters have minds of their own."
I like how quickly the story moves and how it is so utterly action-packed. I enjoyed the quantum physics of mind traveling between an alternate universe. The historical references of Oscar Wilde and the Marquess of Queensberry to Alan Turing who committed suicide in 1952 after Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution allow the reader to question how we as individuals respect and treat those that we have a relationship with. Dr. Grant echoes this belief when he stated, "But if you stray too far on the side of distance and strictness, you end up hard and unapproachable. So you need to be open to unexpected things and you need to be accessible to those people who are honest and forthright with you, especially if they take risks trying to do what their heart dictates."
The story and characters were interesting and vivid; I can't wait for the next book in this series. Boy & Girl is an entertaining and intricate novel. It offers a message about interpersonal relationships and importance of free will/choice. However, it never overwhelms the characters or the story. I understood this very well when I was shocked and screaming "No!" at the end. The epilogue is a wonderful gift from an author who truly understands his relationship with his readers. I highly recommend Boy & Girl by Alan McCluskey. [by Ginger Dawn Harman]
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