Reading is kind of slow these days and I hope you’re all more successful on the reading front than I am. But I muddled through one and I think it is worth a shot (every book that I finish when I’m not really in the mood for reading is certainly worth a shot).
It’s aboout (as the title suggests) Cameron Post, a young girl who loses her parents in a car accident. Now an orphan, she is living with her grandma and aunt Ruth in the middle of nowhere, Montana. Figuring out that she is gay isn’t as much of an issue as the attitude of the people around her toward homosexuality and it comes as no surprise that once Cameron is ‘found out,’ she ends up in a place to end all same-sex tendencies, a religious compound called ‘Promise.’ But the promise of ‘healing’ is hard to fullfill, especially when one is as unwilling to be healed as Cameron and her new friends are.
Emily Danforth did a great job conveying life in the middle of Montana where she herself grew up. The book is also a vivid picture of the possibilities of youth, the ways one finds to escape from the doctrines of the church and religious upbringing. Cameron is rebellious enough to make us believe that escape is possible because there is no doubt that it is necessary. It’s sometimes a little discouraging, though, to see a young person struggle against unbeatable odds – especially since it plays during the nineties and one would expect a more understanding environment all around.
This book is one of those rare occasions where one would have sat through a whole life-story without ever getting bored. Danforth’s prowess as story teller are impressive but are seemingly cut short by the ending. While I liked reading the story as such, the ending left me dissatisfied. I’m not saying that it doesn’t make any sense but it certainly felt abrupt compared to the way she builds the story. While Cameron finally gains some closure, I (as a reader) felt left with some story yet untold. It is possible that this is my own fault, that I did not prepare myself enough for an ending that came too soon for me. I like to dwell in a good story and sometimes it’s simply too hard to reenter reality after a good read.
On the whole, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a well-written coming-of-age and coming-out novel. It’s believable, vivid and will throw you back into a time in your own life when you broke some rules… a time when rules were meant to be broken.