Book review: young adults struggling with sexuality

Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:31 am

Em Hazeldean | 98five blogger

When I was growing up, I always felt a bit geeky telling people I wanted to be a writer.

But over the last few years I’ve stepped out of my own friendship circles and found myself among those who are writers.

Storytellers, introverts, and those who find inspiration in the written word — just like me.

One such writer friend is Elaine Fraser. A fellow Kin Women blogger, full-time writer and author, she is about to release another novel Amazing Grace and was kind enough to send me a copy to review.

Amazing Grace by Elaine Fraser, Em Hazeldean blog

The story follows Grace, who I loved the minute I became privy to her thoughts.

Grace is unsure of who she is, who God is, and if she’s worthy of love. Her biggest struggle is her sexuality. She feels ‘too gay to be straight, and too straight to be gay’ and her biggest fear is not being accepted, regardless of what she decides about who she might love.

Maybe it’s because I know Elaine or her talent at stringing words together — or both — but this soft literary voice gently asks the big questions and tackles the real issues facing teenagers without being confronting or pretending there are any easy answers.

In fact, one of the things I love most about the book is that it doesn’t give any answers.

Elaine refuses to reduce anything to mere black and white and instead weaves through the reality of our humanity. The messy struggles, the colour of our lives and the complexity of our inner voice is unveiled through Grace’s journey.

As a Christian, it further cemented my core belief that everyone is worthy of love and acceptance from God and from others. That, on this side of heaven, there is both brokenness and beauty, shades of grey and vivid colour and we can embrace every ounce of it all, without judgement.

Elaine has written a beautiful and thought-provoking novel, aimed at young adults (recommended for 15 years and above). I devoured it in less than 24 hours!

Elaine’s book Amazing Grace: The Beautiful Life Series Book Three is due out October 12.


ONLINE USE_Em Hazeldean profile photo Em is a wife, mother of three and writing is her passion. She has studied English and Journalism at university, while photography and reading are her favourite hobbies. Coffee motivates her and Jesus sustains her. Em believes there is room for everyone, and desires to see women live free and confident lives, embracing all that God has called them to be and do. Follow Em on Facebook | Instagram