Activist Xander Wallace and his straitlaced father do not have an easy relationship. Jim’s views on race, immigration, gender, sexuality and even Millennials alienate his son no matter how hard Xander tries to find common ground. Toss in Jim’s second marriage ten months after Xander’s mother died and it’s a volatile cocktail. How, against this backdrop, will Xander ever dare to bare his soul and reveal his greatest secret?
The Wallace House of Pain: A Novelette
by S.M. Stevens
The Wallace House of Pain tells Xander’s story. Xander is dealing with the loss of his mother and craving the love and acceptance of his father who re-married within a year and never mentions the wife he lost.
This novelette is set over several evenings where Xander takes a different friend to his father’s for dinner. His step-mum always playing the dutiful wife, and always seemingly interested in getting to know her guests. Xander is trying to connect with his father though. A father who isn’t overly accepting of those who aren’t his kind of ‘normal’.
My heart went out to Xander. He feels like he’s been unable to grieve properly for his mother and he is convinced his father won’t accept him for who he really is. Something we all know many, many young people go through every day. As a parent of two adult children, who I love unconditionally, I think it’s desperately sad that so many others deal with trying to live a lie for fear of being made to feel they’re somehow less worthy of love and acceptance.
This book sends out a powerful message to all.
I think many will be comforted by it and I’m sure many will learn from it.
**Many thanks to S.M. Stevens for my review copy**