35 Letters

Letters from a Mother to her Son

Fiction - LGBTQ
166 Pages
Reviewed on 03/29/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Danelle Petersen for Readers' Favorite

In writing 35 Letters: Letters from a Mother to her Son, Joseph L. Ferguson has created a beautiful but sad story about Mildred Riley and the letters she writes to her son Gordon. She begs him to return home after he left for San Francisco because the family wouldn’t accept that he is homosexual. In these letters, Mildred tells Gordon about the goings-on in their hometown of Springwater since he left. As she writes, you can feel the love that exudes to her son on every page. The stories she tells are sometimes sad and sometimes amusing but not once does she leave out the fact that she misses him terribly and wishes that he would come home. All this is while being completely oblivious (or in denial) of the truth regarding Gordon’s sexuality. However, the truth is never far from emerging and its repercussions are explosive and devastating.

Joseph L Ferguson’s 35 Letters reads like a true-life family drama. I am grateful to Ferguson for deciding to write about the LGBTQ community and its issues in this format. It was original and a fun, enlightening, and entertaining as well as heartbreaking read. These beautiful letters are full of raw emotion and leave you wondering why the world has to be so complicated and full of judgment. I couldn't help feeling pity and frustration for both mother and son who were victims of a harsh and unfair society that prevailed during the 70s era. As portrayed in the book, women were expected to be submissive at all times, and being homosexual was an abomination that was seen as a choice you could make. Now, seeing how far we have come in humanity since then brings tears to my eyes.

Adam Morris

Thank you Joseph for writing this book! I related to so much of it. I came out in the seventies while living in a small town. My parents reacted very much like the father in this book. It took years before we were talking again. Even then my parents acted like they were unaware that I was gay and had a husband. They referred to him as my friend and my dad still asked when I was going to settle down and find a good woman. I hope that your book gets a lot of attention as the things you mention are so current. I wish more young LGBTQ people would read your work. It would help them better understand the crap previous generations had to go through.

Caroline in Jacksonville

When I finished this book I was in tears. If I was Gordon I don't know what I would have done. He must have gone through so much torment growing up. How can parents be so cruel to their children? What they did I wouldn't wish on any kid. I highly recommend this book. It's a story I will remember for a long time.