Fiction - General
256 Pages
Reviewed on 12/22/2014
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Author Biography

Ian Donnell Arbuckle has been writing and publishing for a few years, now. His stories have appeared in the magazines MungBeing, Open Wide, Full-Unit Hookup, Rage Machine, and Bewildering Stories, among others. "Fingerless" is his third novel and isn't much like the others. He lives with his wife and son in Richland, Washington.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

Fingerless is a gripping story that follows Lita Hernandez, a transgender woman, as she makes her transition from Simon to Lita. But this is not a story about the transition; it is much more than that. It is about identity and family and relationships, and how those things shape our lives. Lita lives in a small town so those elements are present, but they are not predominant to the story. During an ice storm, Lita’s daughter Jilly goes missing and the townspeople are willing to go out and look for the child. But there is still the question of the who and the why behind the brutal attack that left Lita’s brother hospitalized. Ian Donnell Arbuckle has written an emotional story with a transgender lead, but this is a story for and about everyone.

Fingerless does deal with being transgender, but in more subtle ways than society as a whole is used to seeing. Of course everyone in this small town seem surprisingly okay with it, yet there are times when Lita’s mom uses the wrong pronoun or seems stilted and uncomfortable around her child. Those moments are painful and poignant but they are also some of the most memorable. Ian Donnell Arbuckle has proven to be an excellent writer as most of this story was superb. However, I do find the resolution of the story less than satisfying. There was a lot of internal conflict but there wasn’t much externally, aside from Lita's desire to reconnect with high school sweetheart Shasta. Perhaps Lita’s story has not yet ended; that would be enticing.