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The Rainbow Player Kindle Edition
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|Length: 345 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Chief among these is Thomas the Bookseller, from whom Sam cadges books as a fifteen-year-old, and Davey, a classmate who becomes a friend at a time when Sam is feeling particularly friendless. It says something that Sam doesn’t actually learn either of their surnames for some time, despite the fact that they’re the most important people in his life. It’s as if there comes a moment when he realizes how much these two men mean to him, and that asking and learning their full names somehow sanctifies their bond.
The crux of it all is that “The Rainbow Player” is the story of a bisexual boy who only realizes his attraction to men at the age of thirty. The plot-arc covers fifteen years of Sam’s life, and for fourteen of those years (about two-thirds of the book) Sam lives a straight life. There is no anxiety over unresolved feelings, no creeping awareness that there’s something “off” or that he’s somehow inappropriately inclined to look at men.
This is a trope that, as a Kinsey 6, I never much believed in. Kerby-Kendall makes Sam's experience believable, and honors Sam's emerging awareness without even the faintest hint of panic. I give him great credit for that, even if, ultimately, the story made me unhappy as I read it. The reason for my unhappiness is that Sam, in the end, has choices that no gay man has ever had. Even this late in my life, and after 42 years with the same man, I still feel that this is somehow terribly unfair.
More people should read this lovely book, because it will make them think, and unlike "Call Me By Your Name," in this one the gay romance wins.
The strength of loyalty among friends in contrast to the utter disinterest shown by some members of the family, the blunt ignorant stigma involved creates a well rounded observation. There are some fantastically humorous parts to counter balance the poignant moments.
Sam grows up in a deprived area, has zero support from his father .. but thankfully his Gran and friend Thomas the bookseller, who takes on the role of surrogate parent to a degree have some very wise advice. I absolutely adored Gran!
This is a tale of exploration, coming of age, learning to be true to oneself as well as others and above all else love. While it definitely has an LGBT dominance don’t let that sway your decision to read it (if it’s not your genre) because the amount of pleasure gained from reading The Rainbow Player and the thought provoking text makes it so worthwhile. It’s an ambassador for love, kindness and acceptance of our fellow humans no matter what their sexuality, race or status is.
And just to reiterate I can’t abide football (more of an NFL fan!) but that doesn’t hinder the flow of the story it is all relevant and after all it’s only a game but has a significant role.
My thanks to David, Rachel at Authoright and Whiteley Publishing for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
Sammy Hutchington, England footballer, finds himself facing a dilemma that could rip apart everything he has ever worked to achieve, with a wonderful host of characters to see him through … or drag him down.
With wit and emotion permeating every page, this was a wonderful read. The plot was strong, the writing hilarious and poignant in equal measure, and the characterisation dripping in realism. This is a book about acceptance, finding yourself, and being true to your values. It is funny, it is sad, and it is wonderful. Highly, highly recommended!
*Thank you to the author for sending me a free review copy.