Book Review: Wild Things by Karin Kallmaker

Another good book for Fallback Friday. This one says it was published in 1996. One year after I graduated from high school. I can’t remember there being tons of lesbian fiction back then. Or perhaps I was just so baby gay that I didn’t know where to find it.

Faith is a 30-something scholar who is deeply passionate about history. She still lives at home because her parents are devout Catholic and she would be seen as a spinster if she was to leave without being married. She is dating a great and respectful guy named Eric. But Faith has a secret she has been repressing since college. Something that has caused self loathing and disgust. 

This was heavy. The big religious debate. I felt that it was well done. I could understand Faith’s struggle between what she believes and how she feels. That incredible desire to feel validation, acceptance, tolerance, approval, etc. 

A favorite scene was the interaction between Faith and Sydney in the garden. Also loved the part where they are in the shadow of a tree. I truly had a feeling of ‘meant-to-be’ and the pull that existed regardless of obstacle.

I do not share a passion for History with Faith. Therefore I was completely bored for a good chunk in the beginning. The author delivers a full dialogue of a radio show. In. Entirety. My note on this was that I hoped it wasn’t important to the plot because I had to skip through most of it. I’m glad I did. And while I know there was some connection and comparison between that history and what was happening with Faith, it wasn’t super profound and I felt a lot of it could have been reduced.

As to how this book stands up now? It felt a little outdated. We certainly aren’t as closeted as back then. There is more of a community and thankfully people have looked beyond stereotypes at this point, There were references to older music (Tracy Chapman and Melissa Etheridge). Faith considers that she should buy a computer for her home (Who doesn’t have a computer/s in their home now?) When Faith moves, she has to give her new number out. As if there is no local portability or cell phones! 

But overall I enjoyed this. I appreciated that it was a quick read with depth. It made me think about religion and biblical thoughts on homosexuality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *