By Dublin Gallyean
Published: June 2014
Genre: Fiction, Coming of Age
Formats Available For Review: Paperback (limited quantities, only available to qualified reviewers/bloggers in the U.S.) and Kindle
Bougainvillea Blues follows a family living in San Diego, CA in the early 1960’s. The dual narrators, Joey at 12 and as an adult, tell the story of a white middle-class boy in suburbia struggling to find the connection between sex and love. Voyeurism became his solution until he meets Gloria, his first girlfriend, on a family vacation in Texas. She shows him that he can be more intimate than the half promises merely watching provide, and that he can be loved by someone other than those supposedly required to care about him, his family. His 16-year-old widely-read sister questions how close his relationship with his mother has become when she stumbles onto them in the bathroom and forces him to reconsider this relationship with the person most responsible for his tenuous sense of self. The neighborhood boys provide mixed messages about how to find the companionship he needs. The Adonis- like Carroll twins are a standard from which he falls far short, and the overweight Billy reveals more savvy than he would have expected. When his father Sam has a heart attack at his mistress’s house and then dies with both her and his stunned family at his bedside in the hospital, Joey must find out whom he can trust.
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