The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

Sonora Reyes’s novel opens with her protagonist punching a mirror. It is a fitting way to start a story that refuses to hold back, no matter how difficult the topic at hand.

Yami and her brother, Cesar, are being given a fresh start at Slayton Catholic School. For Cesar, that means no more fighting, and for Yami it is a chance to avoid her ex-best friend, Bianca, who outed her as a lesbian last term. Yami is determined that nobody, certainly not her deeply religious mom, will discover her secret again. All she has to do is remain firmly ‘Not Gay’ – but, it turns out, hiding her identity is harder, and more dangerous, than it seems.

While the novel deals with challenging subjects like racism, homophobia and mental illness, it does so with incredible sensitivity and honesty. Yami’s experiences are often quietly devastating: the seemingly small, everyday bigotry that leaves her constantly on edge, like a casually racist comment from a classmate or a hurtful lecture from the school priest.

Yet these darker moments are balanced with plenty of lighter ones between Yami and her brother, with her friends and even with her mom. There is still the laughter, good natured bickering and endearingly awkward encounters that the reader might expect from a coming-of-age story – especially when the book is filled with wonderfully complex characters, with layered relationships, that the reader cannot help but adore. A compelling story told with care and humour, perfect for mature readers.

Book Cover - The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School
Author
Publisher
Reviewer
Publication Date
May 2023
Format
Paperback
Pages
385
ISBN
9780571373765