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Son of the Cornfield


Loved it! 😍

A well-written, powerful memoir- coming of age story of a beautiful gay man.

A well-written powerful memoir- coming of age story of a beautiful gay man with a strong character arc. It will make a difference in readers' lives everywhere.   Lupu should be very proud of this text. His tone is smooth, gentle,  and perfectly paced.  

The sentences are structured to move the plot forward, not back. I never felt like I needed to skip to the action.  What surprised me and strengthened my faith was that this was not a book of blame. The message? All that psychological baggage and pain we carry around is constantly in flux moment to moment, creating a ball of twine that is pushed forward to another plateau in our life cycle. That brings us to a foreign place with new people and experiences, which presents us with opportunities to expand, grow, and heal. And the key to that for Alex is listing when God talks. Because even in the most horrible life-changing events, God is with us, and he loves us regardless of who we choose to love.

This is the journey of a little gay boy who hides from his abusers in the dry sticky, painful husks of the cornfields fraught with mites and fleas that seek to drain the last drop of life from his tortured, lonely soul.

The story is set in Romania and begins with the birth of Alex on June 3rd, 1991. Keep in mind this was before Romania opened up to the Western World. While people listened to the U2 album War, horses pulled carts of vegetables through villages' dirt roads.   Mental illness was considered a weakness, men were soldiers, and the Orthodox church, a stronghold of the community, condemned homosexuality as an abomination against God.

Can you spell hell for Alex, born a gay man?  He is mercilessly tormented, and the people around him do everything they can to beat his gayness out of him, wishing he was never born. The scenes are graphic and painful, but I have a feeling Lupu was being tempered.

There is, however, someone who loves and cares and saves Alex when he despairs in suicidal thoughts. He hears the voice of God, guiding him a message of faith and love that leads him to a seminary where he is constantly at odds with the teachings of the church and being a gay man.  He bathes in a world of discrimination and hatred of homosexuality, and this breaks him down. But as Romania opens up to the Western world, he discovers that there are people like him.  There are dating apps and chat rooms and Facebook pages. And the holy spirit leads him to places far away like Australia, where he discovers things about himself and his relationship to God and human love that he never thought possible. And this review would not be complete without giving Lupu a big pat on the back for his poetry. These days, the trend is for authors to include poems in their text, and they are not poets. Lupu is.

I swim in a lake

Filled with the echo of a precious goodbye

(A couple of thoughts.  The text could use a sensory overhaul, more color, sounds, and smells. If the author wanted to make this a commercial book,  I would use this memoir as a base and weave in a murder mystery series that revolves around Alex.)  

Reviewed by

I have an M.A in Eng Lit, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Writers Union. I like defined character archs and plot structures. You will receive a honest review. "We are not here to race one another to the top but to keep others from falling down." Kayhallny@gmail


About the author

I am a Romanian-born Aussie living in Canberra. I am the author of Son of the Cornfield. I am a professional photographer and a social worker. Love combining my passions in my writing. view profile

Published on July 07, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by