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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Finding Pluck by Peter Difatta

Finding Pluck by Peter Difatta
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 410 pages
Publisher: Pembroke Publications, LLC; 1 edition (February 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692375236
ISBN-13: 978-0692375235
Amazon: Finding Pluck
Amazon Kindle: Finding Pluck

COMBINING THE LUMINOUS TRADITION OF SOUTHERN FICTION WITH THE ENIGMATIC WORLD OF THE MYSTICAL, THIS CAPTIVATING NOVEL TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY OF EXPLORATION INTO THE HEART OF PREJUDICE.

First Prize Winner of the William Faulkner Literary Award

Finding Pluck was lauded for having a “highly readable, sophisticated narrative structure” and for illustrating “a pleasing twist on the traditional bildungsroman, the novel about growing up.” —William Faulkner Literary Award Judging Committee

It is 1995 in North Carolina and high-school student Taylor Hanes is struggling to escape his small-minded dying textile town. He finds his ticket out by being awarded a full-ride Gay and Lesbian Equality Scholarship to a state university. Problem is, he isn’t gay. He lied on the application. Abruptly, he is shocked by hometown intolerance, and worse yet, he awakens the wrath of the scholarship’s long dead benefactor.

Taylor contends with the hauntings as he continues into college. He joins forces with a group of friends who help him investigate why the benefactor is an unsettled spirit. Along with this and his studies, Taylor is also forced to carry out duties related to his scholarship. These requirements enlighten his understanding of the origins and human cost of prejudice and further his resolve to help the restless spirit find answers in order to cross over.

The narrative deftly moves between the present and when the benefactor attended college in 1927, the pinnacle of the Jazz age and a period of great change and moral conflict. As the friends dig deeper, the story draws parallels in the lives of the characters. This is a coming-of-age novel based on actual examples of the culture of prejudice and connects with the heart as well as with the mind.


I had some minor problems with the narrative voice, which felt a bit too detached for my taste—that was literally my only complaint. The plot was interesting and unique, the characters were vibrant and well rendered. I read this in a single sitting, just couldn’t put it down. Thank you Peter Difatta, for a great read!



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Tags: rainbow awards 2015
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