Gerry B's Book Reviews

The Gathering: Common Threads in the Life Series, by Ronald L Donaghe

An inspiration for families of all types



Publisher’s blurb: The Gathering is the fourth book in the Common Threads in the Life series, which began with Common Sons, and continued in The Blind Season and The Salvation Mongers. The Gathering is set in 1999, four months before the coming new millenium. The Reece family had planned to gather to celebrate the new era by gathering on New Year’s eve. Instead tragedy strikes, and the family gathers for a very different reason.

About the author: Ronald L. Donaghe is a native of the desert Southwest, and he uses this mystical, wide-open place where the sky meets the universe, for the setting of many of his novels. He has published almost a dozen books in three fiction series, including the first book in a fantasy series known as “The Twilight of the Gods.” He is the editor of the online book review magazine, The Independent Gay Writer ( He is a book reviewer and feature article writer for Foreword Magazine. He lives in a hundred year-old adobe house in the historic district of Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his mate of many years.


Review by Gerry Burnie

The Gathering [BookSurge, 2006] is the fourth of Ron Donaghe’s thought-provoking and heart-warming Common Threads in the Life Series. And quite apart from my recommendation to read it for both these reasons, I also recommend that the readers start with the first of the Series; being Common Sons [see my review].

Ron Donaghe is one of a handful of gay genre authors that I hold in the highest esteem for not only their story-telling talent, but also their dedication to quality of the written word. They have been an inspiration to many aspiring writers—including myself. I remember with great fondness that Ron Donaghe was the first to contact me with words of encouragement regarding my first novel Two Irish Lads, and I feel privileged to return those words with regards to the Common Threads Series.

The Gathering follows on the heels of The Salvation Mongers, and opens with a tragedy that has occurred in 1999. As a result the Reese-extended-family has gathered in support of Joel and Tom. Thereby, the main theme of the novel is established; that being, the love of family regardless of whether it happens to harbour gay members.

This is the unique aspect of Donaghe’s writing; for, to my knowledge, there are very few gay genre novels that focus on family values—i.e. love, loyalty, support and respect for one another. A further, somewhat unique aspect is that the author has explored the relationship of two men who are in their 50s, and shows that their love can be as strong and vital as that of younger men.

Altogether, it is a warm, inspirational and, yes … wholesome story that can be a model for families of all types.

Ron Donaghe has a new novel in the offing, A Summer’s Change. Watch for it.


See a complete list of titles and authors reviewed.

See a preview of Coming of Age on the Trail.


May 30, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Gay fiction | 1 Comment


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