When Cameron Post's parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief she'll never have to tell them that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
But that relief soon turns to heartbreak, as Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and not making waves, and Cam becomes an expert at this - especially at avoiding any questions about her sexuality.
Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. To Cam's surprise, she and Coley become best friends - while Cam secretly dreams of something more. Just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, her secret is exposed. Ultra-religious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to "fix" her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self - even if she's not quite sure who that is.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.
Cameron spends the entirety of the novel making connections; walking slowly forward and then looping back to weave bits of her history with her present and, ultimately, with her future. This spiraling movement is an engaging and compelling process; one most definitely worth participating in. I highly recommend this book to both YA and adult readers alike. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
Starred Review. Danforth's story gains even more complexity and dimension [in the second half] further developing the political, religious, and coming-of-age themes introduced in the first half.
Starred Review. [An] ambitious literary novel, a multidimensional coming-of-age.
Starred Review. Rich with detail and emotion, a sophisticated read for teens and adults alike.
Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning author of After Tupac and D Foster and Hush
A beautifully told story that is at once engaging and thoughtful. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an important book - one that can change lives.
Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger
Danforth's narrative of a bruised young woman finding her feet in a complicated world is a tremendous achievement: Strikingly unsentimental, and full of characters who feel entirely rounded and real. A story of love, desire, pain, loss - and, above all, of survival. An inspiring read.
Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of Prep and American Wife
If Holden Caulfield had been a gay girl from Montana, this is the story he might have told - it's funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully rendered. Emily Danforth remembers exactly what it's like to be a teenager, and she has written a new classic.
Nancy Garden, author of Annie on my Mind
This novel is a joy - one of the best and most honest portraits of a young lesbian I've read in years - lively, funny, brash, and oh, so true! An absorbing, suspenseful, and important book.
Two thirds of the way through The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Cam's aunt sends her away to God's Promise: a Christian School and Center for Healing. Its mission is to help "adolescents yearning to break free from the bonds of sexual sin and confusion by welcoming Jesus Christ into their lives." How does God's Promise achieve what it purports to do? Through a kind of therapy called "conversion therapy."
Conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) is a formal attempt to change a gay person's sexual orientation, from homosexuality to heterosexuality. The conversion methods can include one-on-one counseling, group counseling, prayer, exorcisms, and gender modeling activities to name a few. (It is crucial to note that there is no one method; no system that has been studied and regulated and agreed upon by those who administer it.) Most often the counseling is centered on the belief that same-sex attraction is an attempt to restore broken familial relationships in an unhealthy way.
While God's Promise is a fictional place, there are many real...
A scathingly funny and moving book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and unwaveringly serious.
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