My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the things that I like most about M.C. Questgend is that she focuses on the exploration of gender in a variety of different ways. Like most of us, there are many facets of ourselves that we are often hesitant or uncomfortable connecting with and allowing ourselves to experience. She always seems to be able to weave a new and interesting take on characters looking inside themselves.
Our hero, Jamie, begins his journey young and has the benefit of an older sibling who sees no harm in it and is supportive. Not everyone in Jamie’s life is so understanding. Jamie’s aunt, who seems like she would be someone that he could turn to for guidance turns out not to be, perhaps more from a sense of violation than anything else. Jamie’s mother, however, is a cruel woman who is more concerned about how she is perceived by others than she is her son’s need for a mother’s love and care. She forcibly inflicts her own ignorance and misconceptions on him vindictively, something which Jamie finds the strength to endure and eventually overcome.
Fortunately, Jamie finds guidance from a mentor who is quick to teach him that he must never let anyone take advantage of or disrespect him regardless of his path. I was a bit disappointed that M.C. had fallen into a trope, but then she cleverly showed me that she had just set me as the reader up to think that, and spun me in a different direction. Jamie learns that there will always be people who fear what they don’t understand, but there will also always be people who embrace the unknown and will help you on your journey. Jamie learns that strength comes from within and it is okay to express yourself in whatever way you need to. Embracing your softer side doesn’t make you weak, and a man can still be successful in both business and life, even if he enjoys the feeling of silk panties and lace stockings.
One of my favorite things to tell people is “Be who you are.” Once again, M.C. shows us that she understands what I mean when I say that as clearly as I do, and demonstrates the deep truth and necessity of that statement in finding happiness in a clever and entertaining story.