Number of Pages: 136
Publication Date: April 29, 2016
Rating: out of 5
OBC Rating: 2 out of 4 stars
Themes: Equal rights, discrimination, beliefs
Story Perspective: Third-Person Omniscient
*This was part of the OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day Program*
In a new generation, same-sex relationships are more accepted and, in fact, if discriminated against, those who are discriminating can face jail time. However, the Church has ongoing issues with same-sex marriages and relations, which causes issues among people.
Pastor Simon is accused of a hate crime when refusing to marry two women in his church. He is then brought to trial. In the meantime, Pastor Winter Sams is dealing with his own personal issues and his sexuality. Being a sworn member of the church, having relations with other men is not allowed. However, can he really let go of his true feelings?
This was definitely a different type of book for me. It expresses something that some might deem sensitive – one’s own sexual preference. I commend the author for taking this approach and being open to discuss the ramifications of discriminating those who like the same gender in the society she has built.
I believe the author held the sensitivity to the topic at hand very well. She had characters on both sides and it is clear, even though there are law giving same-sex relationships equal rights, that there are those who still take issue with the subject.
As I was reading, though, I did feel the characters and plot were lacking a bit. The key characters, Winter, Simon, and even Tabitha (Winter’s wife), were easy to distinguish one from the other. Epps did a solid job in showing the inner conflicts of these characters. However, the supporting characters were blended more together. I would think either a little less secondary characters or giving more information on each would help to differentiate one from the other better.
In general, the message of the story was unclear. I’m not sure if it was meant to be a tale of the happenings in this made-up society or if there was supposed to be more. The court room scenes were interesting and the ending was pretty intense, but I think I would liked bottom-line of the story to be a bit clearer.
Overall, this was a fairly enjoyable read with few grammatical errors. It was an interesting take on a society where LGBT rights are more prominent.