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Lance; The Continuing Journals of Will Barnett
Will Barnett writes: "So, as I told Uncle Sean, Lance just needs somebody to love him. And that somebody is me."
When Lance and Will meet on a windswept ledge on the edge of a desert mountain, neither young man knows the trials they will each face. Lance, the troubled, violet-eyed young man will find the love and support of a family he never had. But more importantly the pure love of a manÂfor Life. But he must make a heart-wrenching choice: to embrace that love, or take the opportunity of a lifetime, which may well mean giving up his chance at love.
Praise for the first book in "The Continuing Journals of Will Barnett" Uncle Sean:
"Donaghe's magic in crafting this tale was writing Will's journal in the voice of a fourteen year-old... The book is so realistic that one wonders what has become of Sean and Will since the box (containing Will's journal) was stowed away in the barn thirty years ago... The novel is a natural for high school and public libraries.
Reviewer: R.Parklane (Taipeh, Taiwan)
Donaghe continues to deliver!
Donaghe writes from his heart and Lance proves just that. Lance is a wonderful follow-up to Uncle Sean. Will's and Lance's angst and struggles in a homophobic small community is compellingly written. Lance's near rape and "castration" just leaves my heart cold. I am glad that Will's and Lance's love for each other is strong enough to withstand the hostility and animosity. They maybe just 18 but their committment to each other and their referring to each other as husband just warms my heart. The ending is frustrating as it leaves Will "hanging" but it is a perfect bridge to the 3rd book. Keep it up Donaghe!
Reviewer: Daniel J. Maloney (Saint Paul, MN)
A Continuing Journal of Emerging Gay Identity in Rural America
In the second of the trilogy of the Journals of Will Barnett, three years have passed since the time of the first installment of the Journals, 'Uncle Sean.' Will Barnett is now seventeen, is dealing with his father's death, trying to run the family farm and continuing to deal with his awareness that he is gay.
Set in rural Mew Mexico, 'the Journals of Will Barnett' viewed as a whole, form a wonderful developmental chronicle of one a boy from early adolescence through young adulthood.
In Lance, beyond the challenges of being 'man of the house', 'farmer', 'athlete', 'student' and 'adolescent'. Will continues to deal with his gay sexual identity.
In the 'Spiral Notebook' portion of Uncle Sean, Donaghe had introduced the character of Lance, an eighteen year old runaway who had been abused by his father. Seventeen year old Will finds Lance starving and beaten in the desert one day before Will's Dad dies and took him home. The family pretty quickly took the abused boy in and cared for him. And Will pretty instantly falls madly in love with Lance and the feelings are mutual.
"Lance" as the second of the Will Barnett Journals deals with the relationship that Will and Lance have formed since the death of Will's father. Lance has stayed on with the family and the two boys have become a couple.
The story is rich with various characters in the local community, including the violent and abusive homophobes who are determined to hurt Will and Lance in one way or another, a local housewife who seems to believe it is her mission to tutor high school boys in 'the ways of love'. These characters are important to the story, well developed and complex. I most especially appreciated the author's inclusion of Will's Mom and Sisters as they come to terms with Will and Lance and the gay sexuality issues.
"Lance" is well written and quite believable. I found it an interesting story that dealt with one of the tougher issues that an adolescent can find him or herself struggling with as they recognize that their emergent sexuality is out of synch with the vast majority of society's.
'Lance' is well written and quite believable. I found it an interesting story that dealt with one of the tougher issues that an adolescent can find him or herself struggling with as they recognize that their emergent sexuality is out of synch with the vast majority of society's.
Will and Lance prove to be noble and courageous young men who would be terrific role models for any gay male coming to terms with his gay sexual identity.
I have said in other reviews that I appreciate the fact that Donaghe's books are not sexually graphic which is too often the case in some of the coming of age books that I have examined. I would not be hesitant to recommend the Continuing Journals of Will Barnett to parents or kids struggling with sexual identity. I think these books are wonderful resources to reassure gay kids that they are not alone. This series is highly recommended for school and local libraries so that kids struggling with similar issues can find some reassurance and hope. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Johnny (New York, New York) -
If you loved "Uncle Sean" you've got to read "Lance"
For those who read Uncle Sean and loved it, this continuation of that story is a must-read. Lance picks up where Uncle Sean left off and is just as riveting. Ron Donaghe continues to speak so convincingly in Will's voice that the reader is forced to remind himself that this is a work of fiction--or to wonder if it really is. As Will and Lance grow to know each other, the reader grows to know each of them. Their bond grows strong as their love deepens and it becomes evident that this is a relationship that can stand the test of time. Lance and Will face the challenges over which they have no control, forced upon them by a homophobic society, and if anything, come out stronger and closer because of them.
It's impossible not to fall in love with Will and Lance and impossible not to fall in love with this story. The book ends leaving the reader on pin and needles, wondering if their love can survive their biggest challenge yet but is picked up without missing a beat in All Over Him, Donaghe's next installment in Will and Lance's story.
Ronald L. Donaghe was raised on a farm in southern New Mexico. The setting for many of his novels involves the desert and the mountains of New Mexico. He is a master at evoking the stark beauty and sheer majesty of such settings--but also the unforgiving and harsh side.
He is a technical writer and novelist from New Mexico. He has been published by Dutton, Edward William Publishing Company, New Mexico Council for the Arts, Xlibris Corporation and by Writers Club Press (an imprint of iUniverse.com). His growing body of work includes essays in three anthologies, a book of essays, two novels, and a full-length autobiography. He has a cat without a tail, and he read comics when he was young... two things he'll rarely admit in polite company.
Ronald L. Donaghe is the author of several novels, including those in the series: Common Threads in the Life (which includes the best-selling COMMON SONS), the series: The Continuing Journals of Will Barnett, which includes UNCLE SEAN, LANCE, and this book. In addition, the first book in his fantasy trilogy was published in 2002.
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