The Queering - Book Review

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The Queering

Author: Brooke Skipstone
Genre: Young Adult - Coming of Age
Publisher: Skipstone Publishing
Date Published: January 19, 2023
ISBN-10: 9781737006459
ISBN-13: 978-1-7370064-5-9

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Book Review of :  The Queering



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Brooke Skipstone's new book titled The Queering: The Life and Death of Brooke Skipstone is a novel that is a critical commentary on the evolving LGBTQ scene and a celebration of queer love in the face of patriarchy. It's a tale of love and loss and loneliness and isolation.

Taylor Baird MacKenzie is the protagonist of Skipstone's new book. Taylor is a seventy-year-old, unhappily married woman who is tormented by her secret love for her own sex. Living in a very conservative community where revealing her true sexual identity and desires would result in ridicule, being ostracized, physically endangered, and perhaps even death.

Woven into the tale is another thread about Taylor's brother, Austin, who was recently released from prison, and is attempting to locate her. Unfortunately, there is bad blood between them, and his release, along with the fear of a local podcaster divulging her secret sexual proclivities in an attempt to destroy her, has uprooted her existence. 

The book contains many dysfunctional characters who live sad, miserable lives, including Taylor's daughter, Heather, who apparently dies of a seizure. The daughter had a very poor relationship with her mother.

Other writings by the author are woven into the story and become a part of the tale. For example, the book Crystal's House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone is mentioned numerous times in The Queering.

This is a visceral tale of a complicated existence and acceptance of love, lust, and danger. It's bleak at times, occasionally funny, and unapologetically raw.

This novel pulls at your senses and demands your attention, even as it behaves in an alluringly crass and gross way. The Queering is not an easy book to read, but it is an extremely rewarding one. The novel also tackles race, class, gender, sexual assault, domestic abuse, religion, and the politics of the 45th and 46th presidencies. The politicizing of Covid is part of the narrative.

The Queering is full of twists and turns and a lesbian novel with endless backstabbing, revenge, and an agenda to educate cishet readers of the eggshells that LGBTQ+ people walk on every day. 

Skipstone's novel will leave you thinking about family, independence and interdependence, gender, and sexuality. It's an addictive read with its trainwreck relationships—the kind you can't quite resist, about flawed main characters, and about the mistakes we all make when we are dumb and young.

Can Taylor finally find the freedom, love, and acceptance denied to her for such a long time? This is a novel that will leave you thinking about the frailties and complexities of our existence.


Reviewed by: James B.

About Brooke Skipstone


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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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