Book Review: Dear Mom and Dad

By Terri Schlichenmeyer, November 2016 Issue.

One, as they say, is the loneliest number. It’s no fun to go somewhere by yourself, to be half a couple, to go solo. Two’s company, three’s a crowd, four’s a party and in the book Dear Mom and Dad, You Don’t Know Me, But … by Georgia Lee McGowen, sometimes, you’re not really alone.

George and Georgia were born on the same day, but no one knew it for years. They were not twins, but two parts of a whole child whose parents thought they had a son.

When George was a child, the family moved around a lot, which perhaps made him an introspective boy with a good imagination; still, there were times when he didn’t quite understand what was inside him. He was fascinated with his mother’s clothing and shoes, and furtively wore them when the rest of the family was out of the house. He loved girls, but was a bit confused by his love of girly things. He wasn’t homosexual, but there was something different about him and when “Georgie was alone, he inevitably found himself wondering why he wasn’t like all the rest of the boys his age.”

Throughout his adolescence and young adulthood, George seemed to forget about those differences, however. He went to college and was somewhat of a ladies’ man. When his college sweetheart became pregnant, he married her and had a family, left college and ultimately achieved his dream of becoming a ranch hand.

He divorced, married again, and battled addiction to drugs along with his second wife.

But something happened in the middle of his second marriage: the alcohol and drugs allowed his inhibitions to be “stifled,” and his feminine side surged. His wife, who was initially supportive, eventually considered his new obsession “disgusting” and so, once again, George had to hide his interests.

But there was no way to put this cat back into the bag, and Georgia became stronger by the day. They – George and Georgia – hated the dishonesty but they were happy when their wife finally embraced her “girlfriend …”

Though it is readable and offers a unique look at how one individual came to accept their “dual-gendered” life, there’s no denying that Dear Mom and Dad, You Don’t Know Me, But … is rough.

This Valley-based author’s story is set at a time when being different, gender-wise, even in the smallest way, was frowned-upon or even dangerous. The timeframe of this book is good, and quite eye opening, but the story is way too long and terribly loaded with inconsequential details.

Readers who can forgive the flaws will be rewarded with a story that’s alternately sweet, quaint, sassy and empowering. If that’s the kind of book you want, then this is the one.




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