Jeff Billington 2022
In this coming of age novel we meet Asher (Ash), a teenager in the Ozark town of White Oak, who is working toward recognition of both his potential and his identity as a gay man. As Asher deals with self-doubt, bullying, poverty, and food insecurity while navigating relationships with family and friends, heroes appear on his path to help him along.
I read Summer’s Second in preparation for an upcoming podcast interview with the gracious Jeff Billington, who also wrote Chicken Dinner News. Summer’s Second has a natural, relatable prose style; in fact, I found this book, which was published a few months before Chicken Dinner News, to be so readable and so engaging that I lost sleep to finish the book.
Character development is excellent; no major character is one-dimentional – not even Tommy, the classmate who bullies Ash. Pace and dialogue are on point as well. Now that I’ve read both of the White Oak books (my own name for the set), I’m more eager than ever to see what White Oak characters might feature in Jeff Billington’s next novel.
Stay tuned for the link to my podcast conversation with Jeff Billington.