Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lucky by Tia Fielding

Lucky by Tia Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: GLBT, Contemporary
Length: 24 pages



Sloane would've given anything to have been born with the right body, but he hadn't. He’d have given anything to have his family back, but his father insisted that until Sloane was ready to become his heterosexual daughter again, he wanted nothing to do with him. So Sloane dealt with the challenges of living transgendered as best he could. Luckily, his best friend Jace was there with him every step of the way. Jace is the best man Sloane has ever met, but Jace is gay and Sloane still doesn’t have the right parts – until Jace proves that he loves Sloane just the way he is.

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Tia Fielding has crammed a great deal into this small but compelling story. Lucky touches on several hugely important issues: gender dysphoria, what to do to bring body and self into alignment, family dynamics, dating, sex, and love.

In such a brief page count, each issue can only be treated briefly, which is unfortunate, because they are all important and interesting. The huge condensation occurs because we are told most of it, from a dream sequence where Sloane relives his father’s rejection, to a few sentences about starting hormone therapy. Throughout, Sloane’s best friend Jace has been there for him. Jace is gay, gorgeous, and cares, making Sloane very lucky indeed.

Very little of the story takes place in real time; the author opts to tell us what Jace does and the bare bones of what Sloane thinks and does, rather than showing us. Not until Sloane decides that it’s time to step up matters in bed are we all brought into real time to share events with the characters. Not quite half of the story deals with this one evening, which gives short shrift to all the troubling and major changes Sloane endures in trying to become what he knows he is. I can’t help but think that this story has been shoved into a casing far too small to contain it, and that it wants to burst out into an entire novel to expand on all the points that get mentioned.

I would read that novel. I would especially read that novel from the pen of Ms. Fielding, who treats her subject respectfully and thoughtfully, if too quickly. So maybe Lucky has done its correct job, to get a reader not previously exposed to many trans characters interested in reading more. But I’m still not pleased about getting hit with twelve pages of “tell” of anything, because while it’s interesting, it’s also teasing me about how much more so it could be. 3.5 Marbles



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