Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Summer 2005

With Angels and Furies, by John Sam Jones

reviewed by Andy Armitage

Love, mystery and lots of Welsh words. In this sometimes charming, sometimes gritty story, Jones presents us with entirely believable characters and engaging dialogue.

Gwion, Beth-Ann and Gareth share a flat in Deefordbridge (Pontrhydydyfrdwy – get your tongue around that!), but Gwion and Gareth have just have a bust-up.

Gwion takes the reader on a journey of rediscovery, which reveals a disturbed past in which he, as a young boy, experienced sex with an older man.

Rugby-playing and harp-playing Gareth, meanwhile, is forced to look again at his priorities after a chance encounter with a boy in the bushes and a night of sex with a former lover.

Beth-Ann – who restyles herself “Bethan” in order to make it sound more Welsh – is their American flatmate, whose lesbian mother visits Deefordbridge on her way to a European business meeting, and the two women provide us with an interesting foil to the intensity of the men’s relationship. Add a series of homophobic assaults in the area, and you have a potent mix.

Jones has published short stories before Angels. He was a winner of the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award for his first collection, Welsh Boys Too.

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Created : Sunday, 2005-08-14 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
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