This novel is a Historical Adventure and Bisexual Romance. It started as an adult sequel to “Huckleberry Finn”, but then took off on its own wings. It follows an adolescent living in Antebellum America as he tries to escape a difficult and violent childhood by setting out for the goldfields with his great friend, Dan, an escaped slave, only to find his fate ruled by his father’s stolen treasure.
At first they are embroiled in “Bleeding Kansas” as Free State and Slave State radicals clash in an almost civil war. This is followed by two years with an Indian tribe where he learns to kill and to love without remorse and realises the significance of his father’s treasure; then several months in the company of the radical Abolitionist, hero and rascal John Brown ending with the seige at Harper’s Ferry where he loses his friend and now lover, Dan – but finds new loves; and, finally, in street fighting in the New York Draft Riots of 1863 before going West to try “roughing it” with his new friend and lover, Sam, a talented writer.
Alongside these adventures there is a study of a boy coming to terms with his social, sexual and racial identity and his varied and tumultuous loves. Beyond being a good story this book combats the hysteria of recent years, that has robbed the young adolescent of the right to consent, by giving a realistic analysis of an adolescent that deals with “forbidden truths”: for example, that “innocence” has nothing to do with not having sex and that “normal” adolescents are not necessarily entirely heterosexual and can be attracted by adults.
Genre Teen & Young Adult