I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter
5 unapologetically candid stars. Review completed March 10, 2014
Wiley has long hair and a goatee. Even though he's not Jared he keeps popping up in my mind. :)
What Bill is trying to say is that the deaf boy should have a real man for a father," Papaw pointed out. "Someone who likes a good set of tits and knows how to scratch his balls, not someone who's going to teach him how to have sex with a chimpanzee."
"That's what your parents did, Papaw, and look how that turned out," I said.
"I reckon if you're a friend of Wiley's then you like rear deliveries. Am I right? Bend over, take it up the chuff? Ha!"
"It's like a massive onramp to the freeway of love," Papaw observed. "Fasten your seat belts! We're going in!"
"Every time a woman has a period, it's a spontaneous abortion because the egg didn't take," I said, undeterred. "Are we going to start having a funeral for every used tampon?"
"It's like they say: If you love Southern men, raise your glass. If you don't, raise your standards."
Papaw is the s@it! Oh my, he is a character. Both Papaw and Wiley have a wicked and mighty crude sense of humor.
"In a Northern fairy tale, you start off by saying: 'Once upon a time' and all that. In the South, we start off by saying: 'Y'all ain't going to believe this shit!'" I can't believe it but I LOVED this s@it!! I've got a crush on a book. *goofy grin on my face*
Wiley Cantrell is living in Tupelo, Mississippi. Statistically speaking, Wiley lives with his son in the (I quote) poorest state, the least educated, the fattest, the least healthy. Wiley is gay and he loves his deaf son Noah very much but he feels lonely. He would love to have a boyfriend in his life to talk to, someone who would make him laugh and of course he misses sex. He would like to feel desirable and wanted again. And being gay doesn't really help him to enjoy the benefits of society. As a gay man it's tough to find a job where he can make good money. In consequence, the 'failed' writer who depends on food stamps, can hardly make ends meet with his job at FoodWorld. While Wiley's financial situation is a long way off from being more burgeoning, his love life situation seems to be ready for a change when an attractive man in blue scrubs puts two cases of Dos Equis on Wiley's counter at FoodWorld. His name is Jackson Ledbetter. Wiley and Jackson (Jack) hit it off and the story takes it from there.
Shaking the Sugar Tree is thoughtful and thought-provoking and really amazing. The snarky dialogue made me laugh my ass off (Papaw, anyone?). On the other hand, it was an emotional ride that forced me to shed a few tears. However, the sad parts have been outweighed by the positive ones, all the happiness and joie de vivre, and I closed the book with a smile on my face.
The story doesn’t provide any hot smexin’ and it’s not particularly romantic either. It is, however, a difficult and sad yet funny and interesting story that gave me an insight into the lives of a Southern family and their environment. What’s more it’s a book about a gay dad who has to face the daily challenges of raising a special-needs child—a meth baby with birth defects. Politics, religion, bigotry and gay rights are rather prominently displayed in Shaking the Sugar Tree. Also, the writing is unapologetically candid, even crude at times. If you are easily offended then I'm not sure if it's a book for you, but I gotta say you'll be missing out on something fabulously good. It's not a perfect book by any means. Regardless, when an author is able to make me feel such a wide range of emotions and keeps me glued to the pages from start to finish, then I'll be gladly giving out five stars.
Due to Noah's hearing loss he needs reassurance more than other kids. He’s insecure and anxious yet at the same time he's very curious, sociable and open-minded. Noah is a happy boy and very eager to make new friends and it pains him when he's rejected. Noah not only connects with his father and other people through sign language, he does it even more so through touch and he depends on facial expression as well. There's more than sign language, after all, and our body gives off lots of signs without being vocal. Wiley and Noah hugging, touching and having fun playing a game was beautiful to watch.
I'm not a US citizen and I'm certainly not familiar with your situation in the South. It’s possible that some readers will state it's yet another book that depicts stereotypes, but isn't it true that behind every stereotype is a grain of truth? I guess in this story there is way more than a modicum of truth to be found. Plus, the author is living in the south, and I assume he's familiar with his surroundings, the political situation, religious communities and gay rights. While the American Family Association (AFA), BaptistLand and the Republicans have had their come-uppance, Father Ginderbach was portrayed as a kind and open-minded man without prejudices. He was a priest who welcomed Wiley and his son with open arms and I really liked him very much.
Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn
Despite his flaws, Wiley was a very likable character. He was sorry for the mistakes he made in his life prior to Noah’s birth and he was willing to shoulder a part of the responsibility and guilt. He changed his ways and his son’s well-being was his priority. In fact, the affectionate relationship between Wiley and Noah was a personal highlight for me. This leads me to this train of thought: Straight parents being affectionate with their kid(s) are considered normal, and I don't get it why gay parents shouldn't do the same with their kid(s). Straight or gay, what counts most is being devoted and attentive to your children. You listen to them, you educate and protect them, so they can grow up and become human beings who will treat their fellow human beings with respect and kindness.
I was disappointed how (view spoiler)
Steam: What's that? Joking aside, there are no explicit sex scenes in Shaking the Sugar Tree.
The ‘romance’ between Wiley and Jack didn’t play the first fiddle. That’s why I was pondering for a long time what I should call this story, and then at some point, Wiley Cantrell took the words right out of my mouth. This is a love story between a father and his son. At the end of the day it doesn't matter that Wiley is gay and Noah is deaf and, as outcasts, have to struggle to fit in. It is what it is. A loving relationship between a father and his son.
Maybe things DO change in the South, I thought. Or maybe all we could do was change ourselves and hope the South would eventually catch up.
If you'd like to read my spoiler then check out the GR link below.