Allie Rogers, Legend Press (SEPTEMBER), Softcover $13.95 (288pp), 978-1-78719-995-8 Little Gold is a step back in time, into a rich world with complex characters. Thick with British vernacular and a youthful voice, Little Gold’s tone immediately transports readers to Brighton, 1982.
Little Gold is a young girl dealing with growing up and other changes. Her family has broken and money has become a problem. She spends many days in a tree in her garden, hiding. Peggy Baxter, an elderly neighbor with a zeal that intrigues Little Gold, enters and becomes a part of her life.
Peggy’s own life experiences allow her to be a guide for Little Gold, who prefers androgyny to the femininity that is expected of her. In Peggy’s home, Little Gold is safe from those concerns.
The setting of Little Gold is powerful and distinct. Its specifics set up a unique set of rules for the behavior expected from its characters. The time period is a major factor in both Little Gold’s and Peggy Baxter’s expressions, since societal attitudes towards the LGBTQ community, even knowledge about its very existence, have greatly evolved since 1982.
Little Gold explores sexuality and gender borders between youth and adulthood through its heroine. Though her setting, sans the Internet, does not allow her as much access to information as one would have today, her found mentor in Peggy and her own inner analysis create a gentle path through her narrative.
The writing itself opens a dense world—a space more plentiful than what Little Gold herself sees, adding depth to the story. Each paragraph is long, concentrated, and enveloping, expanding upon Little Gold’s narrative in an absorbing way.