Verity Croker, May Day Mine, Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner Press, 22 January 2015, 180pp., $14.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781632 167170
Harmony Ink publishes books for homosexual and bisexual teenagers; a group that, no doubt, would like to read bitter-sweet love stories about young people like themselves. I must admit that until I came across Harmony Ink, I had never come across this genre. Homosexual love was only hinted at in the books I read and homosexual characters always played minor parts in the plot, usually a comic one.
Jodi, the main character in May Day Mine is sorting out her feelings about her sexuality in a small mining town undergoing a crisis. An explosion in a mine has killed two miners and trapped three. It is unclear whether the trapped men are still alive and if so, how they can be rescued. The town is mourning the men who died and are terrified for the trapped men.
Jodi’s father is dealing with it by getting drunk and her parents are fighting continuously about his drinking and the safety of his mining job. Jodi has fallen out with her best friend and her brother is making as much trouble as he can.
Jodi is an interesting character; a mixture of maturity and immaturity, forgiving and unforgiving and also reflective, creative and very girly. She is definitely her own woman even as she sorts out who that is.
May Day Mine is suitable for teenagers aged 15 and upwards.
reviewed by Katy Gerner