cover image Jack


A. M. Homes. MacMillan Publishing Company, $13.95 (220pp) ISBN 978-0-02-744831-3

It's hard to believe that the author of this first novel was never a teenage boy, because she perfectly captures the feelings, actions and even the speech cadences of a typical adolescent American male. Jack is almost 16 as the story opens, struggling to learn how to drive and keep life normal in the wake of his parents' divorce some years earlier. No explanation of the breakup had ever been offered Jack, until during a weekly outing his father admits to being a homosexual. Jack is devastated, angry--and worried. Maybe homosexualityany reason this looks this way?/dr is hereditary? To add to his unhappiness, his best friend Max blabs the news at school, and he's now called ``fag baby.'' But gradually Jack learns that having a gay father isn't all bad, particularly when he meets Maggie--whom he'd considered stuck-up--through one of his Dad's friends. And Jack is forced to rethink long-held ideas when Max's ``perfect'' family comes violently undone. On his birthday, after a party uniting his parents and their respective lovers, Jack's journey of self-acceptance is finally complete. Readers are sure to find the trip exhilarating. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)