Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU
Free On KU

Synclair by Rachel Gold



Teenage is the time of exploring, of searching and of defining oneself. Gold writes about teens and their struggles with panache in her books. The first book that we read by this author was In the Silences which is one of the most powerful, moving and beautiful books we’ve ever read (and re-read). Synclair is a story about a teenager during a watershed summer. 

The main players: 

Emma Synclair: Seventeen, gay. Older brother, Mac. Parents active atheists who strongly discourage any religious or theistic explorations. In love with her best friend, Kinz.

Kinz: Synclair’s rock. Deeply religious and unforgiving father resulting in poor home life and an active dislike for everything religion. Has a girlfriend, Camden. 

Camden: Loves her God and religion. Loves Kinz. Mature and articulate. New to Kinz’s group of Synclair, Kinz and Duke. Brings along her BF, Jay, into the group.

Jay: Outdoorsy, cool, rolls with the punches, ends up with Duke.

Duke: Cheerful, rock solid, struggling with a medical condition that affects him on a physical level too.

Avery: Synclair’s old friend who had disappeared before sixth grade. More spiritual than belonging to any organised religion, Avery explores all sorts of free-flowing beliefs building her own belief system.

Besides these characters, there is Synclair’s brother Mac and there are smaller appearances by various parents. 

It is summer vacation and Synclair’s parents are travelling while their house is being remodelled so their house ends up becoming the gathering spot for everyone. Synclair has always been interested in understanding various theological beliefs but keeps her interest hidden from her parents. During this watershed summer, she intends finding God / religion/ spirituality – anything that resonates with her. She is also confused about and exploring love and attraction because she is attracted to Avery, Kinz and Camden. 

There are so many books about children rebelling against unforgiving religious beliefs and feeling boxed in by their parents’ theological demands and non-acceptance. It’s an opposite perspective in this – Synclair’s parents are completely accepting of her sexuality but she has to work to make them accept her need to understand and/or find religion. It’s startling to realise that acceptance needs to be more expansive and encompassing. It is accepting a person for everything that they are. 

This book is mostly about acceptance. Within the cast, Gold covers different types, shades and depths of belief. There is a very Looking for Alaska vibe to the book with the teenagers experiencing, exploring, expounding and explaining within their group. The dialogues flow, there are some hilarious moments and snappy back chat. The interactions and relationships are believable and every single person is extremely likeable. 

Quite a nice read, this. 


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