“We will be the Light” is the latest story from writer, Clyde Andrews. It tells the story of a group of friends growing up in Australia through the 40s and 50s. Throughout the story we see them go from children into men and the unique experiences they go through.
The story itself is broken up into two parts. The first half is told from Paul’s point of view. The story starts with him at 11 years old. The story is told through his eyes. The reader follows Paul through his childhood and teenage years. He forms a small group of close friends who remain together through adulthood.
The second half of the book continues the story of their adult life through Neil’s eyes. Neil and Paul are the main focus of the story. As at a young age, the two discovered their affection and feelings for each other. Which grows into love as the years go on.
What I loved about this story was seeing Paul and Neil’s relationship bloom. It is something that many young gays would dream of having experienced. Having that childhood friend, whom as they grow older, you become more fond of, until the day they realize they have a romantic affection for each other.
As sweet as the story is, it is not all hearts and flowers. Given the era the story takes place, they do have several encounters with adversity. Paul’s father becomes increasingly homophobic as the years past. Not to mention during their adult lives having to be careful of showing affection in public, as it was considered unlawful, and could land a person in jail.
I will admit that I was more invested in the second half of the story. Not that I was opposed to seeing them as kids. But, I found the later part of the story more relatable. Often I found myself concerned about whether they would be able to survive all the things that life threw at them.
There was a great quote in the book, that touched me and brought a tear to my eye;
“When you’re out there in the real world, do small things that help others. Even though the universe is endless in its blackness, it’s the tiny stars everyone sees. Be the stars. Be the light others look for…”
I would highly recommend giving this book a read. This is the fourth book by this writer that I have read. His stories never disappoint. I look forward to seeing what he writes next.