Blurb:

Penn Henderson is proud of the church-centered life she’s created for her family. She prays each morning, attends worship every Sunday, and confidently takes up the struggle to defend traditional marriage when she learns marriage licenses are be-ing issued to gays and lesbians in nearby San Francisco. But the certainty that she is living right falters after her teenage son, Josh, swallows a bottle of sleeping pills. Her fear deepens when she discovers that Josh struggles with same-sex attraction. If she’s living right, how can Josh be gay?

Desperate for a cure, Jenn and her husband send Josh to a Christian conversion therapy camp recommended by their trusted pastor. Jenn is unwavering in her faith that Josh can be transformed by the grace of God. But as the story unfolds, her husband, son, and daughters seem to be questioning her deepest values, threatening irreparable damage to the tight-knit Henderson family.

Living Right Book Cover Living Right
Laila Ibrahim
Flaming Chalice Press
April 15, 2016
NetGallery

REVIEW:

WOW, this book is just wow! It just made number two on my favorite book list, second only to Nora Sakavic's ALL FOR THE GAME series.

PLOT: The story shows the journey of Jenn, a devoted Christian, firmly against homosexuality, even to the point of running her son's life and putting him in a gay camp. She kept trying to cure him, using God as an excuse. The pastor didn’t help either and to be honest most of the thing she said even his prayers were borderline offensive.

At some point, I wanted to bind Jenn and the pastor, tie them to a pile of stones, and offer them as a burnt sacrifice unto God. Seriously, almost everything that left their lips was insulting to the LGBT community.

I'm a Christian, but damn I've never actually taken things to that level. Do people really believe that being gay means you've been sexually traumatized at childhood, or that you lack a strong fatherly figure?

Thumbs up to the author for creating a book that made me laugh, cry scream and beg for it to just end, all the while flipping to the next page hoping for Josh's misery to end. At some point, I felt suicide was better than the crap Josh was subjected to thanks to his mother.

The concept of this book is by no means new, but it’s explored in a way unlike any other, the emotional conflicts, the suspense, the tension was all too real and the book dragged me out of my world and into the book, where I got to see every scene acted out in front of me. it was disconcerting and captivating.

I have a short attention span, and this book is by no means short, yet I couldn’t put it down!

CHARACTER: The main characters in the book as far as I’m concerned are Jenn and Josh.

Josh is a teenager who isn’t sure of his sexuality, and suspects he might be gay, knowing that his parents wouldn’t be comfortable with his ‘lifestyle’ (It’s called a lifestyle so many times in this book), he attempts suicide.

The interesting thing is that Josh knows who he is; he knows he’s gay and has known that for almost a decade, he’s made peace with it to some degree but he doesn’t want to give up his faith in Christ, nor does he want to disappoint his family. Unsure of what to do and tired of constantly fighting with his fate and disappointing his parents he attempts suicide.

The book is written from Jenn's perspective and we get to see what it’s like to be a 'devoted Christian' mother who has to deal with a homosexual son. We get to follow Jenn on the journey of acceptance and understanding.

Jenn as a person is annoying, gullible, forceful, and so FUCKING STUPID! I want to punch her in the face. And the fact that she kept listening to Pastor Jerry (I hope I got his name wrong, he doesn’t deserve his name spelt correctly). She listened to every word he said, even to the point of reading a damned pamphlet that said Josh had identity crisis because the first letter of his name is the same as hers. WHAT UTTER BULLSHIT.

It hurt me that Jenn alienated Josh from his family, she tried to ruin his life even without knowing it, God it hurt me to read the counselling scene with Pastor Jerry (I hope I got it wrong again), I wish I could snatch him from them and console him.

Okay, this is obviously something I'm passionate about and I’m never going to run out of things to say about this topic, so back to the book.

This book is amazing; the plot, the characters, the setting very part of this book is so vivid and emotionally charged. It just grips you and pulls you into a world where only the story exists. It’s amazing!

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