Redmond, J. Patrick. “Some Go Hungry”, Akashic Books, 2016.
Still Feeling the Aftermath
In “Some Go Hungry, Author J. Patrick Redmond gives us a look at a rural Indiana town that is still reeling from the unsolved 1980s murder of a gay teen. This is a story of reckoning. Like so many other young gay men, Grey Daniels had to leave home to find himself and then he has to return home to rural Fort Sackville, Indiana, to confront a past of fear, homophobia, and murder. Redmond brings together Grey’s return to his hometown and the family restaurant and the long-unsolved murder of a young gay man and the secrets and religious hypocrisy that were buried with it. I was soon turning the pages as quickly as possible; I was totally engrossed in what I read.
This is a gay murder mystery that transports us from Miami Beach, Florida to Fort Sackville, Indiana, as Grey Daniels struggles and fights to live his authentic, openly gay life with the fundamentalist Christians in his hometown.
Fictional news reports of Robbie Palmer’s alleged murder occur between chapters, and the ‘homophobia’ that takes over the fictional town of Fort Sackville. While this is fiction the author uses it to present a look at real-life situations that can and do occur in our modern world.”
The author’s words resonate far beyond the small Indiana town where it is set. “Some Go Hungry” becomes an important tale that in some ways is timeless, and in other ways could actually happened.
We read of bigotry, religion, murder, and personal redemption in small-town America as told by a new writer who is a master storyteller and whom I expect to be hearing about in the near future.
Quite basically this is a love story about a young gay man coming to terms with himself, his family, and the community in which the family’s restaurant has been central for more than four decades.
The story is based upon the author’s experience working in his family’s Indiana restaurant while struggling with his sexual orientation in a town that was rocked by the scandalous murder of his gay high school classmate in the 1980s.
Retiring home after coming out to himself and embracing his sexuality, Daniels has returned to Indiana to run his family’s restaurant since his father is not well enough to do so himself. He knows that being gay can cause terrible results especially since the restaurant is and continues to be a popular Sunday dinner spot for the after-church crowd. This causes him to struggle to live his authentic, openly gay life. He is put to the test when his former high school lover and fellow classmate of the murdered student returns to town as the youth pastor and choir director of the local fundamentalist Christian church. Daniels was forced to decide between the happiness of others and his own happiness. He realizes that making the sacrifice is to compromise his own sincere and honest feelings for the sake of others is, in effect, the same as death.