"I just browsed your The New Book Review to see where your other contributors got reviewed and found two more resources for my books! Thanks, Carolyn. You provide a great service!"
~Jendi Reiter, author of the Sunshot Prize story collection, An Incomplete List of My Wishes."

Monday, September 11, 2017

Angie Gallion Chooses New LGBT Novel for Gallion Picks Reviews

Title: Two Natures
Author: Jendi Reiter
Author's website: http://www.jendireiter.com
Genre: Literary fiction, LGBTQ
ISBN: 978-0-9969074-2-2
Publisher: Saddle Road Press

Reviewed by Angie Gallion originally for Gallion Picks Reviews

One of the things I try to do when I am accepting books for review is to not only review the type of books I would write.  When Jendi Reiter contacted me to offer her book, a gay love story with a Christian undertone, I didn't know what to expect from Two Natures, but was happy to give it a go. What I got was a well written novel with enough descriptive detail to let me walk the life of the main character Julian.  The novel begins in New York City in January 1991. Our protagonist is a fashion photographer in New York, and yes this is during the height of the AIDS epidemic. This book offers a brutal, but not unkind vision of early 1990's.

Two Natures is a very honest bildungsroman, a coming of age novel, with all the key factors, finding your path, breaking with your parents' traditions, learning to stand independent, with a healthy side of Southern Baptist guilt and a childhood fractured by abuse. His journey is complex and the people that populate his life are founded and defined.  Julian is a serious person, and artist, a person sometime prone to self reflection.  He felt familiar to me, just like an old friend.   There are no caricatures here, no one sided coins. This book could have been about my college friend, who was coming to terms with his own sexual identity during the years I knew him, the same years this book covers.  He was creative and passionate, and a little awkward about who he was recognizing as himself, just like we all are.  Julian touches the underbelly of New York City, and we are witness to it.  Reiter does a great job of bringing the city, and all of her locales to life.  She gives enough description and flavor that I got to be there without having to examine every blade of grass along the way.  Reiter does exactly what I like in a book, she lets me walk as the character.  I am Julian as he struggles against the traditions of his family and the calling of his own soul.  I feel his turmoil as he moves through this time in his life and I feel his heart break, along with his joy.  

This book is complex, with religious, political, and social realities in the mix.  Reiter paints the dimensions of her characters with a very fine brush, capturing their shadows and scars very nicely.   This book does not shy away from anything, but it also doesn't make you wallow.  There were scenes that made me uncomfortable, in my middle aged, traditional soul, and the very next scene would remind me again of all of our shared human condition.  People are people, regardless of their trappings, we all want the same things of lives, to be safe, to know love, to be accepted.   You will cheer for Julian in his triumphs.  You will weep for him in his despair.  You will know him. 

Two Natures by Jendi Reiter is a good book with a really big story.  It is published by a small publisher out of Hilo, Hawaii, Saddle Road Press. 


Angie Gallion is the author of Alison Hayes Journey, Intoxic, Purgus, and Icara. Her website is also the home of Gallion Picks Book Reviews of Small Press and Indie Press Writers."Bringing Attention to One Great Book at a Time." Follow her on Twitter @AngieGallion


Jendi Reiter is the Editor of WinningWriters.com 
Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers" and author of the newly released novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press). See the book trailer at http://bit.ly/twonaturestrailer
"Intense revelations about what it means to be both Christian and gay...a powerful saga" --Midwest Book Review
"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise."
Surangama Sutra


 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ). This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.


No comments: