Book Review of Crystal's House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone
Crystal's House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone is a novel about the lives of teenager, Crystal Rose, the protagonist, and her group of teenagers living in the small town of Clear, Alaska. It's a queer coming of age story, a portrait of struggling amid the Covid Pandemic crisis, and a tender and heartbreaking love story, complete with a collection of memories of abuse, trauma, joy, and survival. Crystal lives with her loving but rigid grandparents and younger brother. Deserted by her abusive parents, believed to have died in a car accident, she finds an unexpected home in the tight-knight conservative community which lies virtually in the center of the great state of Alaska. Skipstone adds a beautiful queer romance at the center of the novel that is breathtaking in its honesty and complexity.
The pages are adorned with numerous illustrations that represent sketches by the protagonist, Crystal Rose. They add immensely to the narrative by helping the reader to visualize characters and events better.
Another thread in the story is the reappearance of Crystal's parents, who have been out of her life for over a decade. Will they be welcomed or shunned?
This is a narrative of the transformative period in the lives of Crystal Rose and her schoolmates. It is her relentless pursuit of living as her true self that makes this book impossible to put down.
Crystal's House of Queers is beautiful and painful and full of the kind of raw honesty that feels like a true gift. It is a twisting journey to Crystal's gay awakening
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