Ashamed is an interesting coming of age story. It is set before the narrator, Jeremiah, knows his truth/is question the truth about his sexuality. The book is based on author, Steven Lundle, and his experiences, but fictionalized as well. However, I think it is “closer to home” than he is admitting, as Jeremiah’s voice is personal. It is also, an interesting commentary on the fundamental Christian upbringing of Lundle.
Overall, this story is a chapter in fourteen-year-old Jeremiah’s life. He is coming to terms with several things. The book opens on the day of Jeremiah’s public punishment for cheating by being paddled in front of the entire school. This incident starts the questioning of his beliefs in not only his family, school, and God, but himself as well. We see how the phrase “little pitchers have big ears” is real when Jeremiah starts overhearing his aunt and mom arguing. And he questions himself and his sexuality when new boy Ricky joins the school and becomes his first real friend. It is just gratitude not love right? These seemingly little things allow Jeremiah to explore.
I was only able to locate this book on the Evil Empire, but figure while there are bumps in the writing style and I try not to promote Amazon, it is something that should be known (plus it covers a From another country CBR15Passport as it is set in Canada/author from Canada). This book is for at least ages ten and up due to the concepts, but the voice is very young. However, it does fit as Jeremiah is terribly naïve about the world (his parents won’t let him have sleep overs with friends, the cinema is out of the question, swimming around the opposite gender is sinful), and he probably would not be “maturely voiced.”
And I will comment on the cover, as I find it an interesting image. This is a small part of the story, but an important one. The silhouette of the church and the night image sums things up well. There is a book two as well, Hidden that I am curious about.