Book Rec: “The Boy Who Came In From the Cold” by Madison Parker from MadisonParkLove
Review: What I love most about this story is how well Todd’s coming out is portrayed. The reader knows Todd is gay, even though Todd hasn’t figured that out yet. I felt his sincerity in the beginning when he denies being “a queer”. Even though the actual timeline is short, it felt as though the realization came to Todd gradually. As he reflects on past events, he begins to see past experiences through a different lens and comes to understand his true sexual identity. As Todd interacts with Gabe and some of the other people he meets in the novel, his step-father’s ugly, hateful words continually pop into his head, making his sexual confusion all the move believable (and heart wrenching). I felt his pain and confusion, and rooted for him all the way on his path towards self-realization and self-acceptance. It was so very well done!
Gabe is a wonderful companion for Todd. He is a few years older, and his emotional maturity and stability, not to mention his compassion, are just what Todd needs. Gabe has his own past demons, which help to explain not only his reasons for helping Todd, but also his hesitancy to pursue a relationship with him. Ultimately, each of these men brings out the best in the other, and even though they haven’t known each other long, their connection feels genuine.
The novel has a fairy tale feel to it. Boy with nothing but the clothes on his back, down on his luck and in a desperate situation, meets a wealthy man who takes him in and helps make all of boy’s dreams come true. But I love fairy tales, so it worked for me! The sexual tension and anticipation of Todd and Gabe finally getting together had me glued to the pages. It was a highly enjoyable read.
I’d also like to add that the cover is gorgeous. The inclusion of the Arctic Woolly Bear Moth (Gynaephora groenlandica) is a beautiful touch!