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by Jean Stewart
Rising Tide Press, 1996
Review by Susan K. Wingate on Jul 12th 2002
This is a work of fiction separate from the authors
previous science fiction Isis
series. Reb and Flynn are runaways
on the streets of Seattle, while Chris and Jennifer are new neighbors, starting
off on the wrong foot. Emerald City
Blues is a celebration of the healing redemptive power of Love.
The book tells the story of numerous characters that
cross all the boundaries of societal norms, educational backgrounds, ages and
economical standings. They come together and share some very common core issues
faced by anyone that has had to deal with sexual identity, grief and loss
issues, runaways/homeless teenagers, and the impact of domestic violence on the
Stewart touches the very depth of pain and torment a teenager goes through when
coming to terms with the truth of his/her sexual identity, in such a way the
reader can not help but align themselves with the teenagers in this book and in
general. Couple that issue with the
homeless teenage runaways and it is understandable how kids become the true
victims of their environment. And that
is only the first chapter of the book.
love story emerges on two different levels and is woven throughout the
book. One romance born was out of the
loss of a loved one and the other one born out the need to survive. The tenderness and subtle innocence of both
relationships play out in a way that leaves the reader impatient in wanting to
turn to the next page to find out what happens next.
third subplot in this book is about the call for action within the Gay and
Lesbian community to become advocates for the gay/lesbian youth on the streets
and struggling to find their place within the norms of society. In as much as it was difficult in
identifying with the apathy within the storys community, Jeans style of
writing demanded the characters to make a stand to mobilize and empower
themselves in making a difference, even if it meant in the lives of only one or
two street kids.
are no fairy tale endings in this book. It is truly one of the most realistic
depictions of relationships, the pain and desperation a runaway goes through to
survive, the nightmare any child experiences when turned away from
family/friends, because of their sexual identity and the process of
grieving. It is a story of
beginnings. I would highly recommend
this book to all ages.
© 2002 Susan K. Wingate
Susan Wingate is currently working in
personnel management at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North
Carolina. She has worked for twelve years as a chemical dependency counselor
for adolescents, as well as having worked with survivors of domestic violence
and sexual abuse. Her passion is to be a vehicle for creating awareness for
self and others.