Harlots’ Sauce Radio Book Reviews ~ February 2009

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The Fighter Pilot’s Wife by Gilberta Guth

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Published by Call Sign Press
Reviewed by Nigel Voight

Between 1951 and 1998, Gilberta met, loved, married, had children with, and eventually became the widow of, Joe Guth, a pilot in the United States Air Force. This is her story about him and their life together. Her memoir is a detailed, inside look at the life of a military wife, and, appropriately for this month’s holiday, a love story.

Using her husband’s letters from abroad and news clippings of his accomplishments, Mrs. Guth painstakingly reconstructs Joe’s life and her experiences with him, their family, friends, and the Air Force. This book is her tribute to her husband, with whom she shared, as she writes, “decades marked by joy, fear, tragedy, triumph… and love.” The author also donates 10% of each book sale to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, aiding families of U.S. and British military personnel killed in action in the Middle East. For details, see www.fighterpilotswife.com

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Honest Conversations by Lindsey Kay

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Published by CafePress
Reviewed by Cynthia Taylor

Note: This novel was written by our staff writer, Lindsey Kay. In order for there not to be a conflict of interest, we asked one of our regular readers, Cynthia Taylor to give us her review, rather than writing one of our own.

Honest conversations are had by a few interesting characters within a Christian church, in a non-specific small town in the United States. An everyday thing, one would imagine, but not so, because two of those characters just happen to be a gay male couple, and the plot of this story revolves around their acceptance (or not) into the church.

I have particular interest in this subject, not only because, though I hate the ‘labelling thing’ so many feel we must do, I lived most of my life as “a bisexual” (meaning that I am one of the fortunate few who can fall in love with a person regardless of their sexual organs), but also because my own brother became a ‘Born Again Christian’, and I personally experienced the segregation and sectarianism of not only his church, but many others I came across.

The subject of abuse, loss of sexuality, denial, and final awakening is also discussed in the form of Zoe, the female pastor of the leadership group, a dedicated young woman who fights to get her church to come back to real Christian teachings. Though these compelling story lines don’t get into the depth they could have, as we only live with these people for about 108 pages, I would say that the conversations were indeed honest enough and this novel lived up to my expectations. I loved reading the book, which is written with heart and passion and I would most definitely recommend it, especially as a book that every person who attends any organized form of Christian worship should read. The Christian author is courageously adamant in pointing out that Christians have forgotten the actions and teachings of Christ himself…..and this is a fact that bears addressing in most modern Christian churches, as much as in the old Roman Catholic ones.

There is one small issue for me, though. All throughout the book, there seems to be a not-so-tacit suggestion that, if one is accepted by one’s church, without “giving up their gayness”, so to speak, this same ‘gayness’ that set this individual aside in the first place, would disappear through the act of acceptance by the church, and the individual gay person’s worship. And that I find very difficult to digest.

Nonetheless, when one considers that the author is herself a Christian within an organized community, a heterosexual, happy mother and wife, the book is an extraordinary act of courage, and a huge step forward for the Christian communities. If only a small percentage of the Christians read this book and make the changes the author writes about in her story happen; if this work of fiction can reach even a few hearts in the management of some of the Christian groups and make them a reality, we will be living in a much, much better world.

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