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Reviewed by Melanie Kennedy for Readers' Favorite
Red Clay Suzie: A Novel Inspired by True Events by Jeffrey Dale Lofton is a captivating story of an LGBTQ boy growing up in Georgia, USA. Growing up as “different” in the South, Philbet regales us with stories of his youth and family. He entertains us with his family’s strange dynamic and the games and shenanigans he used to get up to as a child. His love for his grandfather is evident as his memories and experiences with his grandfather mold him into the man he becomes. Philbet evokes great emotion in his stories as he reminisces on growing up in the 1960s in Southern USA. Despite having to hide part of himself for most of his life, Philbet is hopeful and, above all, loving. His story is one of triumph over adversity and a reminder to love yourself above all else.
Jeffrey Dale Lofton has written an incredibly compassionate tale of growing up in a time and place where it might have been difficult to be yourself. Red Clay Suzie is an exceptionally well-written story and I enjoyed every second of reading it. Some moments had me laughing out loud and one particular loss had me crying silent tears. It’s difficult for a story to evoke such strong emotions from people, but Lofton has written an extremely inspiring and thought-provoking book. I will cherish and always remember the tater rule from now on. As a novel inspired by true events, I would like to commend the author on writing a story based on his experiences growing up that might have been painful but certainly will help any LGBTQ youth feel that they aren’t alone.