Finding H. F.

Sunday Single Girl’s Guide will be back next week when I find the book – I just moved into my new apartment and Dana has been amazingly helpful. I really blessed to find someone who matches my intellect, appetite, and interests. It’s that “we just fit” thing that Sinclair has talked about sometimes…

My dearest Jennie has prepared a review of Julia Watts’ Finding H.F.. I am definitely going to try to obtain a copy as soon as I can, because it sounds awesome!

In Finding H.F. 16-year-old Heavenly Faith Simms copes with living in a small Kentucky town as closeted lesbian. After her mother abandoned her at birth, H.F. (as she is known by her peers) grows up with her well meaning but extremely religious grandmother. H.F. survives being tormented and ignored by her classmates through her friendship with Bo, her gay male friend. However, when H.F. discovers letters from her mother in her grandmother’s drawer she embarks on a secret cross country journey with Bo. On this trip, Bo and H.F. discover a world outside of their narrow minded community. They are welcomed to Atlanta by other gay teens and warmly accepted into a more inclusive church group. In Florida H.F. is disappointed by her mother’s cruel and selfish attitude, but she returns to Kentucky feeling confident in her identity, her friendships and a relationship with a female classmate.

Watts provides and accurate and entertaining view of gay teenage life in a conservative town. Her use of slang expressions and extensive dialogue adds a sense of realism to H.F.’s narration. Also Watt’s covers issues facing homosexual teens including isolation from family, loss of identity, and homophobia. Watt’s also covers the vicious and sometimes violent reactions treatment of gay teens in school.

As a person who was also raised by my grandmother I related deeply to H.F.’s need to seek out her birth mother. I was ultimately inspired by H.F.’s ability to define herself apart from her dysfunctional parent and find a way to be happy even under oppressive circumstances. Finding H.F. is an excellent choice for GLBTQ teens, as it offers a variety of options. For instance H.F. is extremely distrusting of religion until she finds an inclusive church service. However, other teens in the story are not able to reconcile their orientation with a religious affiliation. My only complaint is certain situations in the novel are coincidental to the point of absurdity. When H.F. and Bo arrive in Atlanta they immediately meet a wandering band of kind gay teenagers with rich older friends. Although this situation drives the plot forward it seems highly unlikely to occur.

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