The MoonStone Girls - Book Review

The MoonStone Girls

Author: Brooke Skipstone
Genre: Young Adult - Coming of Age
Publisher: Skipstone Learning
Date Published: February 14, 2022
ISBN-10: 1737006448
ISBN-13: 9781737006442

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  The MoonStone Girls


The Moonstone Girls by Brooke Skipstone opens during the early 1960 LGBTQ movement championed by homophile activists that were instrumental in creating a group identity, an identity that would later enable gay men and women to rally together and demand change on a broader scale. The main protagonist in Skipstone’s novel is a girl named Tracy, who, in the beginning of the narrative, struggles with hiding her sexual feelings from her conservative father, who is adamant that she should be straight. Tracy has an older brother named Spencer, who is coping with many of the same confusing sexual feelings that she is experiencing. She feels like she should have been a boy, and he feels like he should have been a she. 

The story is told as an autobiographical of seventeen-year-old Tracy’s life as she first learns to accept her sexual feelings and the struggle she experiences as she faces this taboo life during the late sixties. This is a period when gays were coming out of the closets and demanding to be free to live their lives with dignity and acceptance. At that time, being gay was treated as a sin, a crime, or a disease, and those who succumbed to this lifestyle were destined for hell. 

Skipstone’s novel is full of passion, love, self-doubt, fears, and hope. How Tracy and Spencer handle tragedy is masterfully conveyed. How Tracy discovers her love of women with her first affair with a young girl named Ava and how she felt just the opposite way with her contact with Charles, who attempted to seduce her. She felt aroused by the touch of a woman’s breast but disgusted with the touch of a male’s organ. 

The Moonstone Girls explores how sex, gender, and sexuality were viewed in different eras; how these ideas got tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology, and sexology, and how these views have been disputed and challenged to this day. 

The novel illustrates how homosexuals were treated by society in the hippie era and also speaks of the surprising tolerance that these marginalized individuals reacted to these rebukes. Skipstone describes the lives of gay men and women: how they discovered their sexuality and accepted or disguised it; how they came out; how they made contact with like-minded people.  

If you are a lover of music from the sixties, you will love the novel as it interjects the songs of the time into the narrative. And then, the band “Moonstone” is introduced, and a new chapter starts for our protagonist.  

The Moonstone Girls should become an indispensable resource for LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and general readers alike. 

Reviewed by: J Burns

About Brooke Skipstone


Brooke Skipstone lives in Alaska, where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

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