Cast Me Gently – Caren J. Werlinger

Cast Me Gently - Caren J. WerlingerCast Me Gently is a story of growing up, of loneliness, of coming out and the transformative affects of falling in love. Caren Werlinger always writes intriguing novels about complex and very real people. Once again her well-crafted plot and elegant prose transport us into the lives of her characters with all consuming intensity.

Ellie is alone; she lost her mother early and her brother to the streets. She has carved a life for herself, growing up fast and surviving by shear hard work. Somehow she has managed to keep her dreams of travel and finding her brother, as well as her kindness and humanity alive.

Teresa is part of a huge Italian-American family and while she is older, educated, mature, professional and responsible, she hasn’t really grown up or out of the confines of her family business and home.

Caren Werlinger BiogSet in the early 1980’s in rust belt Pittsburgh we see the grittiness of the city during an economic recession, with large unemployed and homeless populations. Like Ellie and Teresa the city shows us two sides, the strong closely knit ethnic groups and the down and out wandering the streets and surviving on hand-outs.

The period is a complex one, post Stonewall but way before any gay rights, Ms Werlinger uses this recent past to set very real roadblocks for the romance, issues and concerns that most of us will remember. As always her use of place and time is subtle but real, from the ever-present smokers to the grim reality of the streets and the prejudices of the time.

This is an Intricate and delicate story made up of pain and hardship, love and loss, real life emotions that every one of us will empathise with. The themes of growing up, loneliness, even ostracism, make Ellie and Teresa’s journey painful and reminds us just how hard being honest with ourselves and our lives can be. But in the end it is a tale of love, of the joy in finding that “one”, and having the strength to stand up for what will make us whole.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing (October 15, 2015)
  • ASIN: B01678SJDI
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