First and foremost, the picture on the cover. That man is truly delicious. Just the cover would have hooked me. But it’s a Dan Skinner book, so I had to have it, cover be damned. Damned beautiful. Yup, I can be that shallow.
The book is not at all shallow. It’s a sweet, sometimes bitter, look at two gay Midwestern boys growing up in the strict religious beliefs of an Evangelist extremist congregation (or cult, if you prefer) in 1969. Women need permission to speak from their husbands, boys must wear crew cuts, no one can listen to music by long-haired singers and being gay is, of course, an abomination. So long as you pay your tithe, though, they’ll overlook certain things like the length of your son’s hair.
The Bible Boys is a beautiful story of first love, told in a simple yet heartfelt way.
One main character, Matt, grew up within the congregation but his love interest, Caleb, only joined at the age of sixteen when his mom decided to convert, so Caleb knows life outside of the church structure and has a different perspective on nature and life:
“Out here you don’t have to have someone tell you what’s natural and what isn’t. It just comes to you. You know? It’s okay to be different. To grow into whatever you’re supposed to grow into without someone trying to change you into something else. To force you to fit into their mold.”
Skinner, Dan (2014-07-16). The Bible Boys (Kindle Locations 977-980). Cerberus Inc. Kindle Edition.
It’s a bit short, I would’ve read more about these two (approx. 125 pages) but it’s well worth the read.
My favourite part: when the minister tells a group of boys about Sodom and Gomorrah. Read it for yourself, it’s delectable.
Warning of gorgeous and graphic lovemaking scenes.