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In Jupiter's Shadow

Gregory Gerard (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-5508-0 ©2009
Price: $15.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 263 pages
Category/Subject: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

Searching for self-truth, a religious, teenage “detective” confronts Heaven and Hell as he struggles to solve the mysteries of sexuality and faith within a family full of secrets.

Growing up in rural Western New York in the early ‘80s, Greg is the youngest in a devout Catholic family. They rely on faith to cope with adversity, including a brother’s congenital hydrocephalus and the father’s alcoholic mood swings. Greg dreams of escape through detective stories, which prepares him to tackle the profound mystery he stumbles across—in the bathtub on the second floor.

Fictional detective, Jupiter Jones, provides guidance to explore the clues; mentorship from a Jesuit priest (an actor with a Hollywood past) ultimately forces Greg to solve the mystery between the shadows of sexuality and light of self-awareness.

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Customer Reviews

  Early Reviews , 08/07/2009
Reviewer: Gregory Gerard
Just wanted to share some of the early reviews from other authors I received for the book. (I apologize for the hubris of my "5-star rating"...but, as the author, I believe in this story!) "I finish Chapter One interested to see what happens next. Always a good sign. Best of luck completing it and finding a publisher." ~Andrew Tobias, author of The Best Little Boy in the World "Greg Gerard delights and entertains as he energetically and systematically tackles the mysteries of God, family, and later, sexuality. Making use of all the clues (in pop culture, relationships, and religion), Greg takes readers along on a colorful quest to solve the ultimate mystery; to discover a sense of self." ~Sonja Livingston, author of Ghostbread "On a quest for the authentic self, a precocious, gimlet-eyed young Gerard sets off to discover his true identity. Along the way he finds clues in the most unlikely of places. Generous, bighearted, and filled with homespun wisdom, In Jupiter's Shadow is a mystery story of a different stripe!" ~Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals "In this disarmingly honest, poignant portrait of innocence slowly lost, Greg Gerard takes us through the joys and sorrows of self-discovery, and the importance of emerging from the shadows of other people’s expectations. As a gay “recovering Catholic,” I could relate to the harrowing teenage road paved with angst, fear, guilt, shame and denial on the journey toward self-awareness and ultimately self-acceptance. Gerard’s gift as an author is his unpretentious ability to explore deep and eternal struggles through the lens of youthful optimism and everyday events, demonstrating the swirling torrents of confusion and emotion that define all of us in the search for our selves." ~Greg DiStefano, author of Breakdown: Diamonds, Death and Second Chances "With 'In Jupiter's Shadow,' Gregory Gerard shares his childhood and in doing so, tells a story that vacillates between heartwarming and heartwrenching. His pop culture references are funny, poignant, and will resonate with anybody who grew up in the 70s and/or 80s. A humorous, touching, uplifting read." ~Georgia Beers, Lammy-Award winning author

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  'I couldn't solve the mystery of my sexuality.' , 08/09/2009
Reviewer: Grady Harp
One of the literary pleasures of this year is the discovery of a gifted new writer by the name of Gregory Gerard. Though IN JUPITER’S SHADOW is his first venture into the world of the novel, Gerard gives notice of a writer of great skill and a mind capable of understanding and relating the manner of thinking and coping with the world that faces the developing young people of today. This is a story rich in content, in conveying the parameters of life in a family surrounded by the tradition of the Roman Catholic view of life yet sharing the many methods of hiding inconsistencies from the Confessional on the part of both parents and children, of the influence of the times between the years 1979 and 1984 on the maturing of teenagers, and of the struggle and turmoil of coping with sexuality that faces so many of the youngsters (and adults) paralyzed by the expectations of society. Yes, this is a coming of age story but it is so much more. With this book Gregory Gerard enters the arena of the best of authors who deal with the struggles of boys becoming men in Middle America (and throughout the country). The main character, Greg, is a young lad who has always preferred living in the world of make believe, patterning his world view after the character detective Jupiter, a chubby but oh so wise and clever fictional boy who leads the pack in a series of books called ‘The Three Investigators.’ Gerard opens his book with some family background in 1973 where we meet his family – Drinking Dar the alcoholic father, The Booker his coping organized mother, his five older siblings including a delicate portrayal of a brain injured brother Paul, Greg’s sobriquet as ‘The Caboose’ (suggesting his place in line of a family that could have easily done without him), his funky Gram who has terms for everything, and the various priests whose influence is felt at every turn. From this starting point Gerard allows us to grow along with and accompany Greg through his adventures as a detective, as a boy who longs to be ‘normal’ but who prefers boys as his night dream stimulators for his forbidden acts of release. Bouncing back and forth between the years 1979 and 1984 (a very clever and well devised method of introducing and explaining a child’s progress) Gerard comfortable takes us through Greg’s steps towards finding his identity: as Greg chronicles his life he writes in his journals ‘Gram’s death. Longing to be a priest. The Bathtub. Adam. Building Headquarters, Saint Mike’s graduation. Going to McQuaid. Robberies at Gerard’s Grocery. Prayers for normalcy. Backrubs with Bob. Roy’s death.’ Each of these notations represents featured incidents in the boy’s progress to find himself and become the man he is despite the stumbles in the way of his journey. This is a story of the rigors of accepting self, especially when that self happens to be at odds with society. Gerard has the sensitivity to allow the quasi-dysfunctional family to still bear the fond memories even the worst of families retain in each of our minds. He also is kind to the influences of the variety of priests from the Catholic Church who influence the various steps in Greg’s development. And he allows us to witness and experience the delicacy and trauma of falling in love, even when falling in love imports the same sex variety. IN JUPITER’S SHADOW is one of those books the reader wishes would never end, so welcome and treasureable is the journey with Greg – a young man we all grow to love and admire. Filled to the brim with brilliant writing, with page after page of hilarious storyline, and equally suffused with sensitivity for issues of living and dying we all learn to face, IN JUPITER”S SHADOW is a little dream of a book. Very Highly Recommended for all readers. Grady Harp

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