Tackling themes of good and evil, religion versus faith, Christian redemption, and how community can be defined to include and exclude are all ambitiously woven into Jude's journey. His query into his personal truth will resonate with readers on many levels.
The OUTreach Center; Lavender Graduation
The Revelations of Jude Connor
Jude Connor’s rural Idaho hometown is a place of strong values and high expectations. For those who fit into the local church’s narrow confines, there’s support and fellowship. For those who don’t, there’s ostracism in this life and certain damnation in the next.
Jude wants desperately to be saved—to believe with the fervor of the charismatic Reverend Amos King, whose sermons are filled with brimstone and righteousness. But every time Jude thinks he’s found the right path, there’s a fork in the road, and Truth seems to be in a different direction. It’s not just the forbidden friendship with his unconventional classmate, Pearl, or the difficulties of being orphaned and in his older brother’s care that challenge him. There are the restrictions governing how congregants should behave, the whispers that follow Gregory Hart, a man who cares for his wheelchair-bound sister and offers guidance Jude sorely needs. And there’s Jude’s burgeoning need to decide for himself how to live, when to question, and whom to love.
When loyalty doesn’t help Jude overcome his own temptations, he must confront the truth behind the church’s façade and his willingness to follow his own path—even if it leads him far from everything he’s known.
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For educators or anyone else interested in where this story came from, you can read the background information provided, which covers homosexuality, Christian evangelism, and the inspiration for the character Amos King. Please note that this information contains spoilers for anyone who has not yet read the book.