Saturday, June 15, 2013

Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter

Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter: growing up with a gay dad / Alison Wearing
Toronto: Knopf Canada, c2013.
292 p.

To provide full disclosure, I must tell you that I've met Alison, and have featured her on our local blog, Stratford Authors. Thus, I will not be 'reviewing' this book as much as highlighting it. I think it is a worthwhile read, interesting and evocative of her unusual life experience.

This memoir of a woman growing up with a gay father is a fascinating read: while it was a shock for the entire family for her father to come out as gay in the 80's, there is a calm about the book, an understanding of having gone through something that is not a tragedy, that has turned out quite happily in the end.

Wearing takes us through her childhood, to that moment of change, and beyond, to how their life is now. She begins with her own experience, then lets her father tell his story in the second section of the book, finishing up with a short section about how her mother was affected by all this. The book concludes with a "happily ever after" kind of ending -- everyone in the family gets along, including her father's partner of 30 years who is a part of the clan.

There are family photos interspersed in the book, as well as wonderful endpapers that are entirely photos. The cover image also comes from a family photo, and altogether, the book feels like a fabulous family album.  I loved this design element, and thought it was a brilliant idea.

I most enjoyed the beginning of the book, Alison's own story, perhaps because I could most relate to her perspective. Her father's story runs parallel to the history of gay experience in Toronto, and Canada in general, so provides a look at the way gay and lesbian life has changed immensely in the past 30 years. There is no earth-shattering drama here, simply a well-told story of upheaval in one family's life.

To follow along with her adventures being interviewed about this book (and her one-woman show of the same) along with her father, check out her Tumblr page. Lots of links and fun pics, too.


  1. I saw this book last week at Indigo and added it to my TBR list. I am glad you liked it.
    I also just finished The Child's Child by Barbara Vine today which deals with gay life in the early years of the 1900s. I loved it.

    1. Funny, I just read The Child's Child as well! Haven't blogged about it, but I liked the beginning & the interior story, but wasn't too keen on the ending.


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