The Moonstone Girls
by Brooke Skipstone
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Pub Date 14 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 11 Feb 2022
Skipstone Publishing, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
In 1968, a seventeen-year-old queer girl traveled to Alaska disguised as a boy.
Tracy should have been a boy. Even her older brother Spencer says so, though he wouldn’t finish the thought with, “And I should have been a girl.”
Though both feel awkward in their own skin, they have to face who they are—queers in the late 60s.
When both are caught with gay partners, their lives and futures are endangered by their homophobic father as their mother struggles to defend them.
While the Vietnam War threatens to take Spencer away, Tracy and her father wage a war of their own, each trying to save the sweet, talented pianist.
At seventeen, Tracy dresses as a boy and leaves her parents in turmoil, with only the slimmest hope of finding peace within herself. She journeys to a girl with a guitar, calling to her from a photo, "Come to Alaska. We'd be great friends."
Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.
A Note From the Publisher
Ebook 9781737006435; 2.99
Ebook 9781737006435; 2.99
“Complex, creative, and captivating…
[Tracy and her brother's] gradual realization of their sexuality is portrayed with skill, and Skipstone compassionately renders the everyday struggles, loves, passions, fears, and self-doubts of Tracy as she deals with the unexpected family tragedy. Swiftly moving narrative gives windows into the lives of other characters in Tracy’s life, highlighting how one’s tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life.
There is more to this tale than is immediately apparent: the book grapples with relevant questions about the meaning of a life well-lived, love, regret, and redemption while exploring teenage and young adult drama, sibling bond, family, friendship, and the hot-button issues of the era such as LGBTQ and gender and racial inequalities. Twists are in plenty, and the ending is heartwarming and satisfying.”
—The Prairies Book Review
“The inspiring and emotional story of a young lesbian’s journey toward wholeness in Texas in the 1960s.
Tracy’s talents as a musician help her negotiate her world, and music lovers will appreciate the prominent role it plays within the story. Skipstone embeds a wide variety of references to both classical music and popular songs of the late 60s, enhanced by a suggested Spotify playlist, as well as the lyrics of the songs Tracy herself writes to express her anger, angst, longing, and love. Framed as an autobiography, Tracy’s passionate first-person narration vibrates with intense emotion and explicit detail, allowing readers to experience her fury, frustration, and excitement as she strives to live life on her own terms.”
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 116 members
My first thought after reading THE MOONSTONE GIRLS is that it must be somewhat autobiographical. Author Brooke Skipstone has written with such depth of emotion that it is difficult to believe the story is fictional.
Before I get too far into my review I wanted to be sure to mention just how gorgeous the cover of this book is. It is the perfect blend of colors to bring the 1960s to mind. And, the choice to just use silhouettes is 100% inspired.
I love that this #book is set in the late #1960s - an era much different than today’s world. So much was different at that time for anyone who was gay, and as hard as it is to fathom, being gay was considered to be against the laws of both God and men. This just highlights how far LBGTQ rights have come (even though society still has a ways to go.)
I cannot fathom the fear and pain experienced by LGBTQ youth at that time in history, especially for men whose arousal is much harder to hide. In the book, both Tracy and her brother Spencer are queer. The good thing is that they have each other to lean on and they have a mother who loves them just the way they are. This is much more than most #queer #youth had in their lives during that period in #history
This book delves into not just LGBTQ history, but also into the #draft and the #VietnamWar #WomensRights #RockAndRoll and the #SexualRevolution
There are some extremely #emotional scenes in The Moonstone Girls and at one point during reading I was literally in tears. It takes a truly talented #writer to be able to evoke so much #empathy and #emotion in their readers. Kudos to Brooke Skipstone for writing such an important and believable book.
Ultimately, this is a tale about hope and about having the courage to fight back in the best way you can against those who would try to stop you from living life on your own terms. It will encourage readers to never settle for second best and to keep trying until they find a place where they belong and where they can live a life of hope and honesty. It also reminds us that there is a person out there for everyone and that everyone has the right to live a happy life on their own terms.
Tracy is a fiery, take-no-prisoners type of young woman. This is the face she shows to the world, but inside, she is suffering and full of shame. This reminds readers that the persona people present to the world is not always accurate and that everyone has an inner world that is invisible. Never judge a book by its cover is a great lesson and one that we often forget.
Although not specifically stated, I get the feeling that the author also wants readers to think about mental health and to realize the depths of despair that people can feel when forced to live a lie just to be "normal."
All in all I have to say that this book should be on everyone's Must Read list for 2022 and although it is labeled as Young Adult fiction, this book will appeal to readers of all ages.
I am rating THE MOONSTONE GIRLS by Brooke Skipstone as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 and I highly recommend this book ... just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read it.
*** Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***
I cannot describe how much I love this book. I thought this book was an autobiography until I'd finished it and realised it was fiction. I felt the emotions of the characters so strongly, it was like I was transported into their world. It highlighted the struggles of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community in the 1960s, in society in general, and within their home and family life, it was a complete emotional rollercoaster and highlights the importance of how healing it is to be somewhere you feel accepted and free. This is a book that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I highly recommend this to anyone!
This was an amazing read. I got through it all in one day. I haven't been excited about a book in a very long time, but this story drew me in. The characters had such depth, and I fell in love with them and all of their complexity. The descriptions of gender and sexuality and family and love and acceptance and shame and bravery we're incredibly well done. I was able to anticipate some of the plot, but overall, I felt like things progressed very naturaly and I was still left to be able to process the character development over time. This was a refreshing and enjoyable read. Books about queer identify are often rife with trauma, but this story overwhelmingly leaves me with hope that things have gotten better.
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