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It Should Have Been You by Michael Murphy
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It Should Have Been You

by Michael Murphy

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Recently added bySheReadsALot, phenshaw, MedReads

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I want to like author Murphy's books. I truly do. That he is well-meaning and has a good heart shines through his writing. The only problem is that his style tends to be overly journalistic, which doesn't translate well to romance or to relationship stories. This book is a case in point.

When his older brother Stephen dies in a hit and run accident while he's out running, his 16-year-old brother Patrick is left abandoned to a mother who dislikes him and a father who is seemingly indifferent in a New Jersey suburban neighborhood. To help the family, Patrick goes with his father to the morgue to identify his brother's body and ends up providing the ID when his father can't.

But despite his willingness to step up and help bind the broken family together, Patrick is stunned when his mother bluntly tells him, "It should have been you who is dead." When his mother embraces a fundamentalist store-front church and then finds out that Patrick is gay, she decides her son is controlled by the devil and throws him out of the house.

On his way out of town on a business trip, Patrick's father gives his son a credit card and makes a hotel reservation for him. Doggedly, because he doesn't know what else to do, Patrick lives at the hotel and continues to go to school. This becomes impossible when Patrick is kicked out of the hotel when the credit card is cut off and he can't find his father.

Now on the streets, Patrick starts living a hand-to-mouth existence, finally ending up at an old Catholic church which harbors the homeless at night. But the first night there, he's nearly raped by an older homeless man. Scared, he races away from the church until reluctantly he returns out of necessity.

Read the rest of my review at AAR: http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=9706 ( )
  phenshaw | Nov 2, 2013 |
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After a hit-and-run driver kills David McCleary, his mother, Frieda McCleary, tells her younger son, Patrick, "It should have been you." While the McCleary family limps along for a while, it clearly died with David. In an effort to deal with her son's death, Frieda joins a fundamentalist church while her family watches her become a stranger. When she discovers Patrick is gay, she is convinced he is the reason David was taken from her. Patrick's father runs interference, but when he leaves town for work, she throws Patrick out onto the streets. As a blond-haired, blue-eyed sixteen-year-old kid from the suburbs, Patrick has lived a sheltered life and doesn't have a clue how to survive on his own. He's struggling until he meets a local priest running a homeless shelter who introduces Patrick to Juan, a street-savvy Latino youth wise beyond his years, and they strike up an instant rapport. It's not pretty, but they're making it together, until one night Juan goes off with a stranger to earn a few bucks... and doesn't come back. Patrick is determined to find him, regardless the danger and cost.… (more)

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