This book has honestly floored me.
I bought it because the author gave a lecture at my University, but I couldn't go. I had heard good things, but didn't really know much about the book itself or the author.
Confessions is about Alison and her dad. Her dad 'came out' during the sexual revolution, much to the shock of his wife and 3 children.
This book covers the entire scope of perspectives of these years. Alison's, who as a young child struggled with hiding this massive secret; her dad's, who wrestled with his sexuality and tried so hard to be heterosexual for his family; and her mom's, whose perspective is so poignant I honestly cannot put it to words.
This book is... unparalleled. The human emotion is so raw as Alison tells her story, and the not-so-far historical past of complete intolerance and homophobia that readers such as myself have not grown up with is striking and haunting.
Above all though, what hit me the most in reading Confessions is the LOVE that emanates from every single word. This is more than a biography, more than a story, more than a historical account of intolerance and discrimination and intolerance. This is a story about love.
I would completely recommend this book to everyone. If ever there was a book that preaches about tolerance, love, and acceptance, it would be this one. Alison Wearing has spun a fairy-floss story out of a complicated, difficult time in her family's life, and along the way imparted some important nuggets of wisdom that we can all benefit from, even in a society that is much more tolerant than it was 40 years ago.
I just want to leave you with my favourite excerpt from the book:
"We all have to deal with rejection and misunderstanding by family and friends, but the more that each of us fights his own battles against prejudices, the less torment there should be for those who come after us."
There are so many poignant lines in this book, I could honestly quote so much more. Just go read it for yourself. This may be focusing on a girl and her gay father, but it certainly teaches us more about tolerance in a broader context, and the importance of love and acceptance for all, no matter what makes then 'different', or 'queer'.