Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Debut Fiction - HAN­NAH HOHMAN

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.

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