CRR Nov-Dec Holiday 2021

Page 28

Cover to Cover

BESIDES COLUMBIA RIVER READER...

What are you reading? Monthly feature coordinated by Alan Rose

‘The Choice of Men,’ by Samantha Waltz By Tami Tack

H

aving known author Samantha Waltz’s father upon whom this book is loosely based, I was eager to read her novel. From the opening page to the very satisfying ending, I was drawn in and engaged. The characters became real to me and I cared very much what happened to each of them. Without blame or judgment, Waltz eloquently describes how the Mormon Church’s teachings on homosexuality lead the main character to deny who he is and whom he loves. He is promised healing and salvation if he will but pray and have faith, and he comes to believe that his true nature is essentially unacceptable. As his feelings are submerged, they come out sideways in anger and rage.

As the daughter of a closeted gay man, I found new insights in this book that helped me understand my own sensitive and troubled father who struggled to project an image of “normalcy” in an era when being known to be gay could lead to job loss at the least and much worse. Waltz’s descriptions of the “happily married couple” bore a striking resemblance to the photos I’ve seen of my own parents in the 1950s. The way the novel unfolds and the conversations between characters helped me put pieces of my own life puzzle together. Anyone who has an

LGBTQ family member (and who doesn’t?) will find compassion, hope and understanding in this book, a book that is believable, gripping, and has the power to change lives. ••• Tami Tack is a joyously retired school counselor who enjoys leading spiritual and personal growth groups, and performing weddings, memorial services and other ceremonies. Passionate about music, she loves performing original piano solos and sings with several choirs. She lives in Rainier, Oregon in her childhood home with her husband Kim Worrall.

WordFest resumes in January!

2nd Tuesdays, 7–8pm. No need for a Zoom account, but register at www.alan-rose.com to receive an invitation link via email.

ATTENTION, READERS

Read a good book lately? To be mini-interviewed by CRR Book Reviewer Alan Rose for a future “What Are You Reading?” spotlight, please contact him at alan@alan-rose.com or the publisher/editor at publisher@ crreader.com.

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