Title: A Decade of Visions
Born to a single mother in Dust Bowl-era Nebraska, Roy Manger learns to deny his true self from an early age. The rural Midwest is no place for a boy who wears girls’ clothes for fun—let alone for one who suffers gruesome hallucinations. It is only when he leaves home that he can embrace his true identity, spending his days as Roy and his nights as Raina, working as an escort in a ritzy Chicago bordello. But after a run-in with the law, Roy is torn between extremes: to live as a man or as a woman; to ignore his grief or struggle to accept it; to suppress his visions or seek to understand them. With the support of Woodrow, a convict with a murky past, Roy will have to come to terms with the fact that, in life, all of the greatest joys must come from within—and the greatest dangers, too.
This is a work of literary/genre fiction.
Author: Cameron Ramses
Published by Nine Star Press Source: Author
Published: March 19, 2016
Genres: Drama, Male Male Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Wow! This one is definitely not an easy book to review. When I am thinking about A Decade Of Vision, the only word that comes to mind is unusual. I mean that in a good way, though. It is not a typical love story, I don’t even know if it can qualify under romance. It is a novel that is taking us directly into the world of Roy/Raina and how he/she cope with schizophrenia.
I really struggled to get through the first part of the story (when Roy was 12 years old). I told myself I will get to the next section and I will see if I keep on reading. I am so glad that I did. If it hasn’t been for that first part, I would have given this book a strong 5 stars. It is original, emotional and unique.
Roy is a 19 years old gay man. His sexual identity is quite tricky: he is not feeling totally as a man nor as a woman. Therefore, he is navigating between living his life as a man : Roy and sometimes he is living as a woman and he calls herself Raina. When he arrived in Chicago he did not have any money and not enough skills to get a traditional job. He became a prostitute in a brothel and he is doing it strictly under Raina personality. When one of his high profile customers wasn’t aware that he was a man, he was in a fury and Raina found herself in jail. That’s where she met Woodrow, a young black man that flew out Alabama and its slavery.
At some point in the story (it happened twice), we were reading about Roy and Roy’s mom story. It was a dialog between 2 characters, but the author chose not to voice the other characters remarks. As if we were reading a script. the author was commenting instead of giving us a dialog. Here is an example of what was done : “Woodrow interrupted with a question”, but we don’t get to know which one. That drove me nuts and I was not totally sold on the idea.
The story is taking us into Roy journey from his customers in the brothel to his decision to leave Chicago and go back to his home in Nebraska. We witness Roy when he is losing touch with reality and has his hallucinations. It is a journey into a schizophrenic mind. There is nothing shocking there, it just helps us to understand how Roy is coping with it every day of his life. The story is set in 1935; the author was able to grasp that essence of that era and translate it into his writing. The ending was spectacular and at that point, I understood why he chose to begin the story the way he did.
If you are looking for a book outside the box this one will be for you. It is raw and authentic, you will not find sunshine and lollipop in there. If you struggle with the first part as I did, please continue to read the book, you won’t be disappointed.