3 out of 4 stars
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Marc Marci is a story filled with romance, friendship, and much more. Larry G. Goldsmith introduces the reader to Marc as a teenager who has suffered great loss. Marc decides to deal with his loss and face his future by taking a break with a backpacking trip overseas. Shortly upon arrival on the English Coast, he meets Cristina and Gabrielle. Cristina and Gabrielle befriend him and encourage him to explore the female in him. Another tragedy strikes, causing Marc to realize that he is a woman and wants to make a permanent change in becoming Marci. Eventually, Marci returns to the United States. This is where her story really begins. Will she find love, marriage, the children she wants, or will her past decisions hold her back?
Goldsmith touches on many themes in Marc Marci. Lesbian and transgender themes are approached as a normal, healthy way of being. Certainly, there are challenges, but that applies to most things in life. One challenge is dealing with the fear of being discovered, as not everyone is accepting. Marci had a hard time knowing this at the beginning of her transition. Fortunately, she had a good friend to help her along the way. Her Uncle Jack was also very supportive. Without a doubt, the way the author handled this is my favorite part of the story.
Friendship and the support that it offers are seen in many ways throughout the story. Uncle Jack and his family become closer to Marci as they all go through life’s up and downs. Marci and one of her friends put together Shiva for Jack when his wife dies. The Jewish faith plays an important role in this story. The Jewish Chabad campus ministry is where Marci found much comfort and lifelong friendships. As Marci’s faith deepens, the rituals become imperative in our life, especially the lighting of the candles on Friday nights.
Robinson’s ability to make the reader feel present in the story starts with the imagery. The inn on the English Coast is described in vivid detail, from the turrets to the innkeeper’s mustache that is described as a “tinged a rusty color, from either tea or tobacco.” Nature is also described in a way that, at one point, I felt the wind.
There is a philosophical question in this story that doesn’t get answered. I found that a bit frustrating but can see why the author chose not to address it. Sharing it with you, my dear readers, would also mean sharing a spoiler, so you will have to discover it as you read the story.
Marc Marci is worthy of 3 out of 4 stars. The only reason for the removal of one star is the editing. Objective and subjective issues influenced this decision. I recommend this book to those who are exploring their gender, friends, and family of those that support them and to anyone who enjoys a well-written coming of age story. Due to the explicit sexual content, I do not recommend it to those under 18.
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