Set in the 1990's Brooklyn, Alphonso sheds light on the hyper-masculine world of the gay (DL) 'Hood,' and brings forth realistic characters that E. Lynn Harris only dreams about creating. Nothing in this book talks about the stereotypical shit that we read in books today about the same very gay men that we are. I almost feel like Alphonso knows what this is about first hand, although he strongly denies that he does...
The 16 year-old Aaron is out of school for summer and on the brink of his 17th birthday. In his mind he knows that he is gay but has yet to act on his desires to be with another man. The more experienced 21 year old Sha, has his sights set on Aaron and has vivid fantasies about bringing him into the game. While Aaron alienates himself from his mother whom he isn't too fond of, nor is his nine year old sister Anise who experiences growing pains of her own, Aaron tries to find a balance of his inner desires and his quest to be "normal." While Aaron makes friends with Sha, his antipathy and rage grows immense towards his mother. He gets into normal boy shit during the summer (Job, getting chased by the Po-Po, getting drunk & high) and experiences a life that he necessarily didn't want to lead. While all of the drama of the 'hood-life,' coming from a broken home, and dealing with the normalcy of being black, Alphonso introduces a socially stigmatizing character, Magdalena to teach us life lessons in the form of parables and scriptures from the bible. All in all the story highlights the strain and sacrifice of life while offering entertaining moments that highlight the intricacies of life.
While we are left on the brink of wondering...If Sha and Aaron are gonna "do it," What did Magdalena tell Aaron, and what will become of Anise & Aaron's family life...The sexual undercurrent of the book will keep you turning pages just as it did me.
Book reviews are hard to write! Without giving too much of the book away...Sons was a good read and Alphonso's Verbiage is phenomenal, superb, and more than effective. One of my favorite passages from the book is
"Do Not," she said slowly, "ever be ashamed of what you are. One day-soon I hope, for your sake-you will discover or decide who and what you really are. When you do, be proud of it, my dear, whatever it is. And don't let a little thing like who's on top and who's on the bottom get in your way."
-Magdalena to Aaron on page 186
Sons is a great read! Alphonso is yet another eloquent African-American gay writer bringing his work to the world one book at a time.
Excerpts can be read on his website at: www.AlphonsoMorgan.com and it can be purchased here Coming soon an exclusive interview with Alphonso here on Live & Up Close With Trent Jackson!
Tomorrow: Digging inside yourself...