Foreword Review — May / June 2003
Taylor Connolly returns home early to his city condo after winning a huge settlement for his client (and a large fee for himself) in a high-profile sexual harassment case. He had been planning to celebrate his victory, but instead finds a young man lying in bed with his lover, Ryan. A confrontation ensues: “Taylor swung around, nearly whacking Ryan with his briefcase. ‘I’ve worked it out. You’re going to collect your stuff, including his pillow, and be out of here by the end of the week.’”
Thus begins a journey that takes Connolly from his comfortable urban existence into a new life living in a small town beyond suburbia, where he moves in with his best friend, Gen, into her old Victorian-style home outside of the city. The arrangement is temporary, as Connolly nurses his emotional wounds and figures out what to do now that his relationship has fallen apart. As the book progresses, Connolly finds himself far more comfortable living outside of the city in a small town; he starts dating again and slowly puts his emotions and his life back together.
Finding Faith portrays contented, well-adjusted gays living happily in small-town America. Just as importantly, it shows open-minded small-town residents who are accepting of homosexuals, running contrary to the stereotype often held by both gays and straights alike that gays only live in big cities.
Connolly has some initial misgivings about fitting into a small community (as do many of his gay friends still living in the heart of the nearby city). However, Connolly finds the town’s residents far more accepting than anticipated, once they get to know him. In fact, the town’s mayor tells Connolly, “The people here like you and trust you because you’ve been so open and honest about who you are.”
Although Finding Faith is the author’s first published novel, it is well crafted. Barringer earns his living as a graphic artist, computer software programmer, and business executive, writing when time permits. Additional color might have been possible had he set the book in a real town, but Barringer’s natural style weaves a story that is believable.
The author develops characters who are multi-faceted and deal with situations and emotions in a real-to-life way.