Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review of Patchwork of Me, another outstanding read from Gregory G. Allen

Review of Patchwork of Me, another outstanding read from Gregory G. Allen



What's a patchwork? ...the word brings to mind the AIDS Quilt, the whole AIDS Quilt that tells a certain story of the pandemic. But AIDS is only one layer of our existence. In the larger picture, it may be only a minuscule piece in life's complex patchwork.

Life and our journeys of self-discovery take front stage in Gregory G. Allen's new novel, Patchwork of Me, offering a new facet of this author of many talents. Here's a short review I wrote for Patchwork of Me.

Appreciate the privilege.
Alina Oswald
Author of Journeys Through Darkness


Patchwork of Me
by Gregory G. Allen


In his new novel, Patchwork of Me, Gregory G. Allen uses his storytelling talents to patch together an intriguing story of self-discovery, unafraid to tackle unconventional and unusual territories.

Patchwork reminds me of Dolly Parton's song, "Coat of Many Colors," which tells a story from Parton's childhood about her mother patching together a coat from different rags, explaining the biblical significance of the coat--wearing it helps the daughter discover who she really is and what is important in her life.

The heroine in Gregory G. Allen's new novel also has the chance to discover what's important in her life and, with that, her full identity. Proving once again that he's a writer of many talents, Allen flawlessly patches together his main character's life and, with that, the lives of a diverse range of characters whose journeys of self-discovery invite us, the audience, to tag along. In return, we get a lifetime opportunity to peer into our own life experiences and the patchworks defining them. As a result, we earn the chance to come to terms with our own truths and accept who we are, as individuals. In return, we get a lifetime opportunity to peer into our own journeys through life and the patchwork defining them. As a result, we earn the chance to come to terms with our own truths and accept who we are, as individuals.

Allen's Patchwork of Me is a daring story not only of self-discovery, but also of survival, a tale of love and trust, of friendship, mystery, and also hope. As we've learned to expect from this author, we also anticipate a hint of darkness, of unconventional and maybe even taboo elements. And Allen does not disappoint. He's once again fearless in choosing his characters and their stories in order to tackle unsafe topics and territories. In that sense Patchwork of Me tells the entangled and controversial story of Sara Butler as she tries to patch together the complex, multi-layered structure defining her life, with a little help from her devoted friends, straight and gay.

Allen's new novel offers yet another outstanding read from a favorite author. Patchwork of Me is a personal, intimate story, capturing a reflection of its characters' reality and, with it, a possible peek into our own.