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Formats
Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • 978-1-7370064-5-9 B0BJJ4LNPD
  • 344 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 01/2023
  • 978-1-7370064-6-6
  • 318 pages
  • $14.99
Brooke Skipstone
Author
The Queering: The Life and Death of Brooke Skipstone
Trapped between a homicidal brother and a homophobic podcaster eager to reveal her lesbian romance novels, a seventy-year-old grandmother seeks help in Clear, Alaska. Suffocating in a loveless marriage and lonely existence, Taylor MacKenzie lives only through her writing, using the pen name Brooke Skipstone, her best friend in college and lover before her death in 1974. Afraid of being murdered before anyone in her family or community knows her life story, Taylor writes an autobiography about her time with Brooke and shares it with those closest to her, hoping for understanding and acceptance. Accused of promoting the queering and debasement of America by a local podcaster, Taylor embroils the conservative community in controversy but fights back with the help of a new, surprising friend. Can she endure the attacks from haters and gaslighters? Can she champion the queering she represents? And will she survive?
Reviews
Skipstone follows up titles like Crystal's House of Queers with an emotionally thrilling romance roller coaster of love lost, new relationships found, and what it costs to live your truth, all set in conservative Alaska. Taylor Baird MacKenzie is a 70-year-old grandma and secret queer romance author who is ready to venture into the world as her true self, a queer, lesbian woman. With a plan set in motion and lots of moving pieces, Taylor faces her fate as events unfold between her convicted murderer brother, her jealous and self-centered husband, and her new-found friends. Most promisingly, Taylor meets a widow named Shannon, with whom connection is so immediate that Taylor is surprised, at first meeting, to notice that a handshake has briefly turned into hand-holding.

With an urgent narrative that seamlessly transitions between past and present, and two strong protagonists driving the story forward, Skipstone weaves a relevant and exciting story for all audiences. The commentary on the political and personal ramifications of criminalizing being gay, lesbian, or anyone who doesn’t fit within a normal cis-gender society makes The Queering captivating from beginning to end. Taylor’s experiences shine a welcome light on the concept of “the queering of America,” offering a reminder that people like her have too long been forced to live in the shadows, facing danger, heartbreak, and judgment if they were to let the truth out.

Taylor faces all of that, of course, striving for acceptance in the small town of Clear. While other characters like Shannon, Grace, and Maddie are memorable, with compelling arcs of their own, Taylor remains the focus. She is a deep character with relatable anxieties and feelings, making the novel’s well-earned ending especially satisfying. Skipstone’s handling of gender, sexual preference, and love in later life is thoughtful and refreshing, making this this story a rousing must-read.

Takeaway: A fast-paced yet thoughtful romance of coming out and finding love in later life in Alaska.

Great for fans of: Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue, Meryl Wilsner’s Something to Talk About.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

The Prairies Book Review

Deeply evocative and consistently moving…

Skipstone returns with this breathtaking story about one woman’s journey to fulfillment and happiness. Suffocating in a loveless marriage, seventy-year-old Taylor MacKenzie is living through her writing, using the pen name Brooke Skipstone, her best friend in college and lover before her death in 1974. Tired of hiding her sexual identity, Taylor writes an autobiography about her time with Brooke. But there are people in the town who would go to any length to bring Taylor down. Skipstone easily gets the reader to root for her fully fleshed-out heroine: it’s easy to invest in Taylor’s two worlds—her haunting past and the turbulent present. The supporting cast—among whom Brooke, Grace, Shannon, especially shine—adds depth and dimension to the affecting narrative. Sexual tension between various characters is palpable, and the intertwined storylines wrap up with a satisfying ending. Skipstone pairs Taylor’s poignant coming-of-age story with a deep dive into sexual identity and LGBTQ issues, homophobia, patriarchy, dysfunctional family dynamics, individual angst, the corrosive power of secrets, understanding, acceptance, courage, friendship, and the importance of human connection. This is a gem.

Formats
Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • 978-1-7370064-5-9 B0BJJ4LNPD
  • 344 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Details
  • 01/2023
  • 978-1-7370064-6-6
  • 318 pages
  • $14.99

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