Top positive review
Making the Untold Ordinary
on November 27, 2002
David is the star of his school's rugby team and he is famous throughout his New Zealand community for being so. But gradually he's discovered that rugby isn't something he's really interested and as is natural he needs to painfully pull himself out of that role in the community. At the same time he is doing this he meets Theo, a mysterious newcomer to the community. There is an unspoken bond between the boys from when they meet and a gradual friendship is created. Theo is extroverted, rebellious against adults and blunt in trying to bring issues to the forefront whilst concealing aspects of his identity and feelings he finds hard to vocalize. Green-thumbed David is the opposite, a good boy who always does as he should and gets along with adults, but who is able to insist on what he needs to make him happy. It's interesting the ways these boys are shown to come together from different parts of society to form a romantic relationship that neither of them fully understand. It is a relationship which proves through various tests to be a lasting one.
This novel is beautifully written. It never fully tells what the boys relationship is because it is in a slow process of formation. It isn't a representation of a typical coming out story or gay discovery, but a unique discovery of new sexual feelings for two sharply drawn individuals. It seems strange at times that for hormonal boys of their age there is no realisation throughout the narrative of their sexual feelings, but this is explained to be because they literally don't know what to do yet. The presence of Theo's grandmother sometimes distracts from the main story of the boy's budding relationship, though she is an interesting enough character that seems to be crying for a story in her own right. This is a very lovingly told, nice tale that explores how "normal" boys adjust to new aspects of their identity.