5 Stars - KAPOW!
Right from the first sentence The Sky Is Dead had my full attention. The prologue sees us meeting David at the age of twenty-nine with his lover, Jack. When Jack asks him why, even with over eight years as a couple, he’s never mentioned his parents to Jack, we embark on an all too possible story of David’s past.“I survived, and I can show him that. I’m not a victim and the sky isn’t dead.”
Ten years ago, David is still Danny. Sixteen, gay and homeless, having been violently thrown out of his home by a homophobic father. He had managed to stow away at his boyfriend’s house for a short while before Steve’s parents also threw him out, knowing he had nowhere else to go, because they didn’t want any trouble from their neighbours. After that he lived in a halfway house where he was regularly harassed by Peter, another resident. Although he’s the one being constantly and mercilessly provoked, after getting into fight and breaking Peter’s nose he’s told if his behaviour continues he’ll have to leave. Right on the heels of being betrayed by his boyfriend and full of anger and hurt, he’s had enough and decides to get out. “I’ve got no idea where I’m going, but no bastard is going to throw me out of my home for a second time. From now on, it’s me and only me.”
Now, at eighteen, he’s homeless and been living under a bush in a park with cardboard boxes for a bed for the last couple of years.
The author gives us just enough of Danny’s daily existence to get an understanding of what his life has become and what he needs to do for survival. But even for all of his experiences, there’s always a core of strength and goodness to Danny. He helps out at the local shelter where he gets a meal doing some DIY. When he sees a kid being confronted by a couple of serious bullies, he goes against his developed instinct to be invisible and comes to the boy’s rescue. Thus starts the deep and abiding friendship of Danny and Harry....
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