Hometown Secrets

What makes a man a man? Is it the hat he wears? His strict adherence to a certain moral code that society has set up? Or is it defined by the individual male? Hometown Secrets does not try to give one definitive answer to this question, but what it does offer is a convincing depiction of small town life and the struggle to faithfully define oneself.

The most impressive aspect of this piece is in how Flemington depicts small town life. She exuberantly celebrates certain community traditions and customs and just out right discards others, effectively and methodically dragging its denizens into the 21st century.

Many of the characters can easily slip into stereotypes, but Ms. Flemington was able to render characters that are both fascinating and sympathetic. Pete’s indecision is understandable, yet, infuriating. Also, I quickly grew tired of Asher being the public punching bag, I understood that it was necessary to advance the plot and provide insight into the mind of a closeted man (Pete), but I would have preferred Asher have his own awakening along with Pete as Asher clearly has his own insecurities that should have been dealt with in tandem with Pete's coming out story. Having said that, I really did enjoy their private moments together. I could see why they were attracted to one another and found their interactions together really sweet.

While Hometown Secrets was not the story that I was originally looking for, I am glad that I read it. It is an emotionally satisfying read that I am more than happy to recommend.

Book Blurb for Hometown Secrets

An old secret. A new secret. A surprising secret. A dirty secret.

Coming to terms with his sexuality, Pete Stubbs has found his 'Mr. Wonderful' and wants to celebrate his happiness by coming out. Yet admitting he is gay to his family is taking more courage than he originally thought, especially when his mother stuns him with her unexpected homophobic hatred. He starts to wonder if his coming out will be more selfish than freeing.

Out and proud Asher Gilford is tired of always being the 'throw away boy'. He deserves to be loved by a man who's not ashamed to be with him. Though his current lover reassures him it's only that 'more time is needed' before they can go public, Asher fears he's becoming someone's 'dirty little secret' yet again.

When a church sponsors Pete and Asher for a charity event, it explodes a series of startling secrets within their hometown. As Pete watches life crumble around him, he realizes that by remaining in the closet, he could lose more than his family. If he doesn't step up, he could lose Asher.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2014 4.00