Title: A Nice Normal Family
Author: John Terry Moore
Length: Novel Plus (350pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (30th September 2016)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: Jackson “Jacko” Smith is dyslexic, but like many people affected by the learning disability, he is highly intelligent. His best friend Sammy Collins helps him get through school and unlocks his potential. Jacko progresses through the ranks of local government until Mother Nature intervenes and the straight boy and the gay boy become a couple.
As Jacko and Sammy start a family and challenge social mores, Jacko enters politics, horrified at the direction the Australian government is taking. With Sammy by his side, he can achieve anything and rises through the ranks to the highest office in the land, driving Australia away from its British colonial roots and engaging with its neighbors in Asia like never before. Economic growth results, and while most Australians are supportive, a small group of extremists might endanger everything Jacko has built—including his life.
Through the love and the strength of their partnership, Jacko and Sammy rise above their ordinary lives. Because love is never ordinary.
Review: This story is written from Jacko’s point of view, in fact its Jacko himself writing it as a type of memoir. It begins with Jacko’s early life and the struggle he had with dyslexia, it picks up further and branches out when Jacko first meets Sammy when they are both ten years old. We then have the teenage years and all the typical activities of teenagers before it fills out more as Jacko and Sammy begin relationships with other people.
The story does have a lot of political dealings, and after Sammy and Jacko finally get together there isn’t much focus on their relationship other than brief glimpses as they get married and start a family. That isn’t to say that their relationship isn’t front and centre because it is, it just means that it’s more of a constant in the background just coming forward to emphasis certain points at times.
The story has a lot of focus on Jacko’s work life and how he progresses through life wanting to improve the working man’s life, he quickly moves up in the workforce before being drawn into politics and again making a rapid progression through the ranks. While Jacko works hard so does Sammy, they make a dynamic couple who change the face of politics’ and help to make several other gay men overcome their fears of acceptance.
I actually really enjoyed this story, it gives you a deep understanding of everyday life of Jacko and Sammy and their love for each other, and it also gives you a great understanding of the political world we find ourselves in with Jacko showing us the way Government should be run.
There are several times that Jacko and Sammy face adversity from bigots and haters but this wonderful couple rise above and show everyone what an astounding couple they are, there are also some hard hitting moments for Jacko and Sammy and there is no sugar-coating of the topics or glossing over the impact of the moment, we share their pain as they push through to come out stronger the other side..
I should also give mention to Jacko thinking himself as straight, he just loves Sammy beyond all reason, and there are also other men who have similar feelings. Some people won’t like that as apparently there’s no such thing as ‘gay for you’, me personally I believe there is, I just think that there isn’t a name/label for it yet.
I recommend this to those who love political stories where change can happen, who adore couples who love each other beyond reason, and who adore happy endings.