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Reviewed by Robert A. Groves for Readers' Favorite
Compelling, compassionate and contemporary are perfect descriptors of Paul Winder’s A Son is Given: A Mother’s Testament. Mark and Josh are co-captains of their college swim team. Josh is open with and aware of his sexual orientation. Mark is in denial until Josh makes an innocent move which reveals his feelings for Mark. At first Mark is resistant, but finally comes to accept who he is and a beautiful love story blossoms between these two friends. But, what will Mark’s parents’ reaction be when they find out? The Brown family has belonged to the same Christian fundamentalist church for a quarter of a century. Mark’s parents, Frank and Doris, are devout in their beliefs. As Winder takes us on the journey of the process Frank and Doris go through to better understand their son, the reader is filled with hope. However, that hope is short lived. In the one place the Brown family should have been assured that love existed, they were only met with hate. That hate turns into an unbearable tragedy.
Shakespeare himself could not have written a more engaging tragedy than Paul Winder has accomplished with A Son is Given: A Mother's Testament. Winder brings fundamentalist religious beliefs face to face with homosexuality. The clash one would expect from such a standoff is realized. This story is both about change as seen in the Brown family and the unwillingness to change as seen in the church. This story is about love and hate; about acceptance and judgment. While Winder weaves the plot through the pages, the reader remains mesmerized. This is one of those rare books that, once started, will not be set aside until every word is read. A Son is Given: A Mother's Testament is the LGBTQ themed story line that will have readers across the world applauding and saying bravo, Mr. Winder, bravo!