By the Creek by Geoff Laughton
A sweet story of juvenile discovery
Soon-to-be high school junior David Harper hates his family’s move to the country. There’s nothing to do, and he misses his friends in the city. But he doesn’t have a choice. His mother’s job is in Mason County now, so David and his mom are too, and he has to make the best of it.
At first, the only redeeming feature of David’s new home is the swimming hole across the field from his house. Then David meets Benjamin Killinger, and suddenly life stops being so dull.
Benjamin is Amish, and cooling off in the swimming hole is one of the few liberties he and his brothers enjoy. A friendship with an English bever, troy is not—but that doesn’t stop him and David from getting to know each other, as long as it’s on the neutral ground by the creek. After David risks his life to save Benjamin’s father, the boys’ friendship is tolerated, then accepted. But before long, Benjamin’s feelings for David grow beyond the platonic. Benjamin’s family and the rest of the community will never allow a love like that, and a secret this big can’t stay secret forever…
Gay Contemporary Young Adult/Juvenile
Review by Gerry Burnie
Note: Illness has forced me to be brief with my remarks this week. However, rather than disappoint my readers altogether, I have risen to the task with a truncated version.
By the Creek, a novel by Geoff Laughton (aka, Andrew Grey of the Love Means… series) [Harmony Ink Press, January 15, 2013], is a sweet story of ‘juvenile discovery’–i.e. it cannot be called a ‘coming out’ story per se because no one actually ‘comes out’ in the technical sense.
David and Benjamin are two lonely boys who meet by chance, and in spite of some powerful forces against it they form a loving relationship. One of these force is Benjamin’s family religion, i.e. Amish, a strictly fundamentalist sect regarding most aspects of life, and especially sex and sexual orientation. Not surprisingly, therefore, the predominant theme is that ‘love can conquer all.’
It is, as one might expect from Mr. Grey’s record and experience, very well written. The pace is appropriate, given the immaturity of the boys as they set out to explore uncharted territory. I’m not generally a fan of YA fiction, but I have no hesitation in giving this one five bees.
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