Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Edward C Patterson
Available: Paperback, Kindle
Louis Lonnegan had always known he was different from the other boys in school. He didn’t much care for sports, and he didn’t much care for girls, at least not romantically. Obvious to everyone, with the exception of his widowed Irish Catholic mother, Louis was frequently ostracized by his schoolmates, occasionally made fun of, and from time to time physically assaulted because of who he was.
Kevin Borden was also the son of a widowed Irish Catholic mother, but he was quite different from Louis in many ways but not all. Kevin, an attractive athlete had the attention of many of the high school girls and as a result was also the envy of many of the boys. Paired together with Louis to be study partners, Kevin connects with Louis in ways he hadn’t previously. He begins to question his own orientation and even though he finds himself drawn to Louis, he refuses to think of himself as “gay”. But he discovers the feelings he has are real and aren’t to be denied. Hiding the truth from their parents and schoolmates, Kevin and Louis must choose to continue leading a lie or forever open the door about who they are to the world and the consequences be damned.
In No Irish Need Apply, Edward C. Patterson parallels the persecution and prejudice of Irish Immigrants in our nation’s history to the plight suffered by gays in society. Integrating the familial and social pressures to conform along with the subtle and sometimes not so subtle persecution of gays, Patterson offers hope to those finding themselves and their place in the world.
A brave, thoughtful, and moving novel, Patterson dedicates his work to the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) organization.