Brave Face is a moving memoir written by Shaun David Hutchinson on his struggles with depression and his sexuality throughout life. Throughout this novel, you will not just be able to truly connect with Hutchinson as a person but also most likely find him to be very resilient and strong, especially given the stigma associated with being queer in ‘80s and ‘90s America. But what makes this book truly worthwhile is Shaun’s complete honesty and genuineness throughout his piece and the feeling that you get of him not holding back. This only led me to feel more connected with Shaun and a rollercoaster of emotions while reading his book.
Another reason I’d recommend this book is how it gave me a better understanding of the struggles of identifying as and being a queer person and the large amount of courage that takes. But beyond just exploring this theme, this book also gave me more general insights into life, such as the value of friendship and determination. Lastly, you get to see Shaun develop much throughout the story in terms of his identity and personality.
A bit of a warning before you get into this memoir, however. It may be difficult for you to get through this novel, given the wide range of emotions you’re likely to experience. There is a good deal of mature content in this book, as well as a part where Hutchinson, suffering from depression, attempts to commit suicide, which is a difficult part to read through. However, the author gives you a warning before that part, and you can skip ahead if you’d like.
In summary, Brave Face is a story that will take you through a journey of emotions and may even change your perspective on life –in a good way. Hutchinson’s honesty in this book is a key bonus to this book, and it’s no doubt a unique and evocative tale. I’d recommend checking it out!
Review By ~ Andrew