Miseducation of Cameron Post
by Danforth, Emily M.






In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.





*Starred Review* It begins with a preadolescent kiss between protagonist Cameron and her friend, Irene. The very next day Cameron's parents die in an automobile accident, and the young girl is left riddled with guilt, feeling her forbidden kiss was somehow responsible for the accident. This is an old convention of GLBT literature, but freshly handled here and given sophisticated thematic weight. As Cameron grows into her teenage years, she recognizes that she is a lesbian. After several emotional misadventures, she meets and falls in love with the beautiful Coley, who appears to be bisexual. Both girls attend the same fundamentalist church, and when Cameron's conservative Aunt Ruth discovers the affair, she remands Cameron to God's Promise, a church camp that promises to "cure" young people of their homosexuality. Such "religious conversion therapy" is rooted in reality, and Cam's experiences at the camp are at the heart of this ambitious literary novel, a multidimensional coming-of-age reminiscent of Aidan Chambers' equally ambitious This Is All (2006). There is nothing superficial or simplistic here, and Danforth carefully and deliberately fleshes out Cam's character and those of her family and friends. Even the eastern Montana setting is vividly realized and provides a wonderfully apposite background for the story of Cam's miseducation and the challenges her stint in the church camp pose to her development as a mature teenager finding friendship and a plausible future. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.





Set in rural Montana in the early 1990s, this lesbian coming-of-age story runs the gamut from heart-rending to triumphant, epic to mundane. The story opens just after Cameron's first kiss with a girl and just before the life-changing news that Cameron's parents have died in a car accident. Cam is 12 when readers first meet her, but several years pass over the course of the book's nearly 500 pages. Carefully crafted symbols-a dollhouse into which Cam puts stolen trinkets and mementos, the lake where her mother once escaped disaster only to die there 30 years later-provide a backbone for the story's ever-shifting array of characters and episodes, each rendered in vibrant, almost memoirlike detail. The tense relationship between Cam's sexuality and her family and community's religious beliefs is handled with particular nuance, as are her romantic and sexual entanglements, from a summer fling with an out, proud and smug Seattlite to an all-encompassing love for a seemingly straight female friend. Even when events take a dark and gut-punchingly inevitable turn, the novel remains at its heart a story of survival and of carving out space even in a world that wants one's annihilation. Rich with detail and emotion, a sophisticated read for teens and adults alike. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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