Book: Only Say the Word
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Publication date: May 16, 2016
Length: 343 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Can a man be Catholic and gay and still true to himself and his lover? Colm Flaherty sets out to do it. Rejoining the Church, Colm discovers a gift for speaking at Mass that puts wounded people at peace. Miracles and visions abound. Colm is hailed as a “gay saint.”
But the more Colm brings peace to the parish, the more gritty Boston grows ugly around him: The Commonwealth is rocked by violent political division over gay marriage, his relationship with his older atheist boyfriend is undermined by devotion to a Church that devalues their love, the Archbishop wants to sell the Franciscan chapel to the highest bidder, and there’s an abused former altar boy out there who has determined that he can win redemption by assassinating Colm in the midst of Mass.
When Colm is shot, all Boston’s tension comes to a boil, and extremists of every kind clash. His would-be assassin escapes, the Archbishop and Mayor only contribute to the culture wars, and Colm’s ex-boyfriend is torn between his grieving and his commitment to gay liberation. The would-be assassin makes a second attempt on Colm’s life, and only a single disgraced priest stands between them and has a chance to preserve Colm for another day.
This is the first time I’ve read Scott’s work and if this book is anything to go by I’m in for more amazing words from his other books.
Only Say the Word is quite the novel. I can list a bunch of emotions I went through while reading it but that will only show you that at some point I felt them. It’s the where they happened that mattered.
This story takes place in 2000 and moves forward some years. It was a time, in Boston and other cities and towns, where Priests were being exposed for pedophilia. It was an uproar in the Catholic religion. I remember that time and how, for the first time in my life, I feared Priests. This book addresses that and so much more.
It was a time when the war on AIDS was still roaring and the battle for marriage equality was beginning to gain ground. So many people began to question their faith and leaders of religion were losing their footing.
This story is told in multiple POV’s which I usually find obnoxious, in this instance I found to be reassuring.
Colm Flaherty is a gay man who, like so many, is questioning his faith. He also has a gift. His words bring people together. We see, through parishioners, the affect he has on them. It was quite breathtaking to see hope rise with Colm’s speeches. As he fought to embrace his faith while maintaining who he was and spread the word of God to all who were on shaky ground.
This is an intellectual and spiritual book. It’s emotional and moving. Scott has written quite the book here and I found it to be quite an entertaining and moving story.
Scott is going to gift 2 people signed books from his and his partner, Scott A Whittier's
Here's what's up for grabs:
A mechanic with a chain of successful garages and a lonely life, Dan strives to provide opportunities to young, hardworking guys to help them avoid the wrong turns he took in his own life. He's half-closeted, not advertising his orientation, not lying about it, and not dating, so it hardly matters. Until he meets Trent -- or meets Trent again.
Trent is a recent grad, a struggling photographer with an empty wallet and bills to pay. He lets Dan believe he's a prostitute, and even when he starts having feelings for Dan, he can't reveal his lie.
An old friend and partner turned enemy is trying to ruin Dan's business by spreading stories about Dan's sexual orientation and his relationships to his employees. Everything's threatened by their secrets and lies.
Dan and Trent are about to learn: you can reinvent the past and lie about the present, but you can't build a future out of all these spare parts.
Blayne is strictly business -- a stuffed shirt working for his father's company to develop the next men's razor. He wants to grow out of his father's shadow and become a success on his own, and this current project might be just the one to do it. He's also gay and stuck in a marriage of convenience with the president of the London branch of the company to appease his homophobic, controlling father.
Ben needs to get his career back on track after being laid off. A promising new job at Mandatory seems to be a great opportunity. In life, he just wants to have fun. But he needs to come to terms with his family and an odd case of amnesia to move on.
When they meet in a coffee shop one afternoon, Ben gets a lot more than a job. And when they start working together, nothing can keep them apart--not amnesia, not secrets, not Blayne's father, not even Blayne's wife!
Winner's will be selected at random. It's international so anyone can enter.
Contest ends June 16th! Winners will be contacted via email so please check your spam.
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