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Scars by Lynley Wayne

andrew potter
Scars is a story about a man who needs to learn how to deal with his internal and external scars and of the man who will help him doing so. This is the main focus of the novel and the target is completely achieved, the narration of Jace’s PTSD is good and realistic, with the right dose of emotion without trying to exploit the drama to make them more sensational. As the author says in the preface, she researched a lot and is near people who went through the same attacks, and you can say that from the way she described them.

Lynley Wayne is someone who apparently writes about things she know or experimented, and considering her other book is about a LGBT family, I have the feeling she experienced that is possible to build such family, maybe with some difficulties, but not impossible. Also in Scars there are various developments of the concept of LGBT family: Jace will have the chance to confront his own family with the reality of him being in a relationship with another man, will they accept his partner or not? The love they clearly have for their son will be corrupted by this news? And the same Jace, who had never once considered the possibility to be gay, will be able to accept to be in love with another man? To not give out too much of the story, I will not go further, but there are even more deployments of the concept of family in the story, more or less all of them with a positive insight.

So yes, while the story’s incipit is dramatic, the development is positive, always with a good perspective, always with a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an easy path for Jace, but Nicholas is near him, leading him through the nightmares, helping, but above all giving him a reason to fight. I liked this side of the story, even if someone else could think it was too positive: as I said, I have the feeling the author experimented that reality is possible, or at the minimum, she strongly believes it possible.

If I have to find something that didn’t ring right to me, it was in Nicholas’s past, a 13 years old runaway that 6 years later is still innocent and naïve; unfortunately, too often we see that in such occurrences, young boys are used and abused, sometime even by the system that should protect them. 6 years on the streets is a long time, and for how much I would like for Nicholas to be able to preserve his innocence, I highly doubted it. But probably the author didn’t want to charge too much drama into the story, and considering Jace had already a lot of burden to go through, she wanted for Nicholas to be a more steady figure, someone who could give love, patience, comfort.

http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=LW_SCARS

Amazon: Scars
Amazon Kindle: Scars
Publisher MLR Press (September 5, 2012)
Language English
ISBN-10 1608207609
ISBN-13 978-1608207602

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