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Finding H.F.: A Novel Paperback – October 1, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julia Watts is the author of the novels Wedding Bell Blues, Piece of My Heart, Phases of the Moon, and Wildwood Flowers. Her short fiction has appeared in The Journal of Kentucky Studies, The American Voice,and the anthologies Countering the Myths, Dancing in the Dark, and Common Lives/Lesbian Lives. A native of Kentucky, she now lives in Knoxville, Tenn.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555836224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555836221
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,933,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although I really enjoyed all of the Julia Watts novels, this is by far the best! This is a tender, funny, intelligent novel about the friendship between a young lesbian and a young gay man living in Morgan, KY. The novel explores multiple issues including tolerance of gays and lesbians in small town America, the views of organized religion on gays and lesbians, and what it means to be "different" in our society. I highly recommend this book, and I think it should be required reading for high school students or for anyone who remembers what it was like to be one.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book by accident one day while browsing in a gay bookstore in downtown Atlanta. From page one I loved it. H.F. is someone we all wish we could meet. Male or female. I totally fell in love with Beau (why can't I find a man like that?) and just her journey, not just physically, but emotionaly is enough to touch us all. A lot of people find it hard to go from the city to the country or vice versa but Ms. Watts genuinely brings our characters, stranded in a small hick town in Ketucky, to Atlanta and beyond without a hitch. By the time I'd driven from the store to my home I was halfway through the book; stoplights ARE helpful sometimes. Excellent novel. Excellent writer. Im hooked on Julia Watts.
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By A Customer on October 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Julia Watts, the best kept secret in gay/lesbian lit, returns to her fictional town of Morgan, Kentucky to look at the lives at two teenagers there. Despite that fact that we Watts fans know that the town is practically teeming with gay people (see Wildwood Flowers and Mixed Blessings, also by Watts), they begin a search for themselves on the road to Florida, and in doing so help consolidate their identities and the gay parts of those identities.
I'm a solid fan of Watts and she handles the territory with her usual skill and wit. Watts is one of the funniest writers now working (and certainly working in the GLB vein). Get this, spend the evening enjoying Watts's great writing, and then get the others.
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Format: Paperback
Life in towns like Morgan, Kentucky has never been easy for queer teens. Appalachia of southeastern Kentucky continues to hold claim to the title "buckle of the bible belt." And children are still being named things like Pierre Beauregard --after his father's favorite CSA general-- and Heavenly Faith --her memaw was hoping her daughter's illegitimate child will grow into the name rather than following her mother's footsteps. Bo and H.F. for short, please, are struggling through their high school years in Morgan. The increased awareness of gay and lesbian issues in the new millennium increases queer teens' visibility and their vulnerability to peer punishment.
As H.F. who narrates this story of coming out and coming of age in 21st Century Appalachia, says "I guess I'm lucky, though, because I'm not the only one in school who's different. I don't have to be a lonely gazelle limping along while the lions stalk me. I've got Bo for a friend, and bless his heart, he's got it a lot rougher that I do. The sissy boys always have it harder than the tomboys." p 8
At the end of their sophomore year, H.F. decides she needs to look up the mother who abandoned her 16 years before. She convinces Bo to take a road trip to Florida. The teens, who have never been out of the state, pool their resources, pile into Bo's old Ford Escort and head south. Along the way these two young explorers find a loving gay community, role models, friends and the potential for a positive life.
Watts' novels are always a treat. (Reading Wedding Bell Blues made me laugh out loud. So go read the others too!) Her humor and characterization together with her understanding and insightful depiction of life in the Southland allow us to laugh at life's ironies. Don't let the cover of Finding H.F put you off. It's illustrative of an epiphany for H.F early in the novel and sets the tone for her coming out.
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Format: Paperback
Julia Watts has turned out four novels (Wildwood Flowers, Phases of the Moon, Mixed Blessings and this one) set in the fictional community of Morgan, Kentucky. This one is one of her best. I've always wondered why more adventure novels don't have a female protagonist as this one does. H.F. and Bo travel through the south in search of H.F.'s mother, but instead find acceptance and love through the gay community. It parallels a journey many of us have had, leaving our families of origin and bonding with our family of choice. As alawys, watts writes with great sensitivity and skill. Why her work has not had wider acclaim I don't know. Perhaps this one will gain her the wide audience she so deserves. Some would hesitate to compare Watts to authors like Michael Chabon, they shouldn't. She is accruing a body of work the equal of anyone currently working in fiction.
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Format: Paperback
Finding H.F. is an evocative, compelling novel -- one you'll tell your friends to read. The characters are so real and irresistible, you'll feel as if you've moved in with them. Julia Watts is an exceptionally talented writer.
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