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Debbie McGowan is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven fiction, covering life, love, relationships - the whole shazam. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at 17, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At 25, she went back to college to study social science - tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!
Laura Susan Johnson
on Nov. 02, 2012 :
A very colorful and complex portrait of '80s life as a gay man. Debbie McGowan paints a vivid and disconcerting portrait of the sordid underworld which her youthful protagonist, Sammy, haunted for life by the abuse he endured by his now missing father, navigates with cautious aspirations. Every sense is involved as you follow Sammy during the outrageous 1980s gay street/bar scene in London.
McGowan's writing is comparable to Sarah Waters' extremely thorough and captivatingly sensual descriptions. The journey that Sammy takes, and his relationship "Champagne" reminded me a bit of watching the movie "Gia" which was the portrait of the lesbian supermodel's chaotic descent into drugs and disallusion. But unlike Gia, "Champagne," while dark and disturbing in its depictions, is not a story of a downward spiral into doom. Rather it is an enthralling and intimate peek into one plucky and personable young man's search for the truth, and for answers, and his refusal to give up finding those answers.
I read this on a PDF on my computer. I have a harder time reading that way, and want to buy the paperback as soon as I can so I can enjoy it even more. I love gay themed fiction and I especially love period pieces. Highly recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)