Review; The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen
Last year I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of historical fiction novel The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen through Netgalley. I read the book shortly afterwards, but I haven't published my review until now as I wanted to focus on LGBTQIA+ books and books with a summer theme this month.
Description from Goodreads
In the shadow of the Great Depression, long before historical changes leading toward LGBTQ advocacy and equality, unpretentious eighteen-year-old Ruth Thompson defies her family's expectations to marry Duke, her long-time sweetheart. Instead, she joins a rodeo circuit with her cousin in order to earn money for college and comes of age in the rough and tumble male-dominated culture of rodeo competition.
Ruth returns home to Minnesota a prize-winning competitor and resumes her familiar relationship with Duke. Once at college she grows increasingly restless in her role as a sorority girl with Duke as her escort for all social occasions. Her safe existence is upended when she meets confident and free-spirited Gisela and then further unravels when the two women fall in love.
The lives of Ruth, Gisela, and Duke entwine while Ruth embarks on a journey of self-discovery, full of dangerous social repercussions that takes her from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean of California. As WWII escalates, each of them faces a test of their own fortitude as all three must come to grips with redemption, forgiveness, the meaning of family and how to honor their authentic truth during this perilous time in history.
Both heart wrenching and uplifting, The Winter Loon honors the strength and spirit of all those who grapple with social persecution because of who they love and how they define family whether it is their own flesh and blood kinfolk and/or those nearest and dearest to their heart.
My Thoughts on the BookThe Winter Loon is a well written historical fiction about being LGBT+ in a time when it was frowned upon. The characters are complex and the plot is interesting and engaging.