Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vast Fields of Ordinary

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd (2009)

This is a "more" novel. It's more than gay fiction, more than first love, more than coming out, more than coming-of-age, although it has all of these elements. Burd writes beautifully, the novel's many layers coalesce well, and the main character, Dade Hamilton is achingly real. It's his last summer before college, he has a crap job at a grocery store, his parents' marriage is falling apart, and the guy he's been fooling around with barely acknowledges the relationship. He's existed on the fringes for a long time, but this last summer he seems to be drawn to want more. He's also oddly aware of the case of a missing nine-year-old autistic girl who seems to be appearing in odd places, including Dade's own backyard. Stepping outside his comfort zone with the help of some new friends, Dade learns a lot before he even gets to college.

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