Book Jacket

 

rank 3694
word count 42699
date submitted 18.10.2012
date updated 21.11.2012
genres: Fiction, Biography, Comedy
classification: moderate
incomplete

My Secret Life

Peter Kennedy

A light hearted autobiography of a young man with issue, growing up in rural Ireland.

 

Aaron Harney tells his own story, a story of his childhood, and his sexual awakening, in a community where to be different is to be frowned upon. Set in the West of Ireland, the book speaks in the language of the young people who try to find their true identities. For Aaron, his true identity must remain a secret life, as he struggles with uncomfortable relationships with his parents.

 
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tags

, comedy. fiction. autobiography. sexual awakening., family, gay, lesbian, love, sex

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16 comments

 

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Maevesleibhin wrote 140 days ago

My Secret Life
Peter,
I read everything you posted (to Autho 14.)
This is perhaps the most entertaining memoirs I have read on Authonomy. It is witty. well paced and interesting. It does not wallow unnecessarily in details or sentimentality.
I frankly avoided returning this read for a long time because I don't generally like memoirs. Now I regret that I have waited so long. You have not been on the site for a very long time and this charming book has no backers. This is a shame, as it deserved to be doing a lot better than it is. 
Hook and plot- it is really Aaron's father's way with words that hooked me.  "I wouldn't let the sheep shit on that!" Must be my new favourite expression, and I am just dying for the chance to use it. 
You start this book with a lot of flavour,  between the catholic school nun, the precocious schoolmate,  and Aaron's somewhat misguided father you hook extremely well in the first chapter. What I found surprising was that during the course of the portion of the book you posted you never lose the wit that you exhibit at the beginning. Aaron's father remains just as colourful (loved the bit about Brigit's name, as well s the later conversations about David. I was also impressed by the way you developed and then brought back Saoirse, first as the girl every adolescent dreamt about, and then through her predicament, which cleverly counterpoints his own.
You drop the bomb nicely at the very end of the first chapter and, given his father's obvious intolerance, you create good tension. 
You again drop the bomb very cleverly in chapter two, with the magazine. It is very gutsy of you to portray this very intimate and uncomfortable moment, but it works very well. For one, by so confiding in your audience it makes us more engaged in your character's plight. What's more, it makes clear that you will hold nothing back. 
Once you hook the story really carries on well with the interest you create with his secret. I was concerned that the interaction with Ruthie was going to be dull, but the tension you create by having him struggle with whether to confide in Deirdre, and, later on, with the realisation about the affair between Ruthie's father and Aaron's aunt.  (One odd thing here is, of course, that the aunt must have realised that Ruthie would have made this discovery, as she knew all bout Aaron's and her supposed romance, and would have known about the picture in the love nest. This leads to the conclusion that her giving the key to Aaron was actually a very sadistic thing for her to do. Here I am not sure whether all this is true, or if there is a bit of fiction too.)
The section ends with the love interest, David, being near the centre of a controversy very near and dear your MC. I think you do an outstanding job portraying the bigotry and hypocrisy  of the small irish town.
Character development - Like most memoirs, the character development of the  first person narrator is the point of the book, and you do a fantastic job makinng it interesting and engaging. I was particularly impressed, thoug, with the character development of even relatively minor characters, including the aforemenioned Ruthie and Saoirse. The scene in the lovenest was instrumental for Ruthie's CD, and, again, showing Saoirse in her comprimised state was very clever. I also found it impressive that you were able to develop the mean 'ol nun by the kind words she shoes to Saoirse. Derdre is a more stable and less developed character, a bit of an anchor around which the others can develop. I actually found this a good thing, and was charmed by her realisation that Aaron was gay.
All in all I think this is widely successful. I am truly sad to see that it has not gotten more recognition, but it may be difficult for it to do well unless you come back to the site to promote. In the meantime, top stars, and I will find a place for it on my shelf.
Best of luck with it,
Maeve

Thatguypk wrote 499 days ago

Very funny and I am adding you to my watch list. Cathy xx



Sincere thanks, Catherine.

Cathy Hardy wrote 499 days ago

Very funny and I am adding you to my watch list. Cathy xx

leslieboylan wrote 513 days ago

I've read the first three chapters probably in record time. They were very well written, even had some laugh out loud moments. Your ability to tell the story with such humour and realness is a joy. This story feels like it was written by someone telling the story to the reader personally. I have so far found it very enjoyable.

Cait wrote 537 days ago

My Secret Life:

I've read more of your chapters, and like Wossyboy, I echo what he said.

As promised, I've made notes of the first three chapters if you're interested.

All the best,

Cáit ~ Reminiscing ~

Wussyboy wrote 540 days ago

I just finished reading your chapters too, Peter, and I was both touched and uplifted by the honesty and candour of your writing. This is not an easy subject to put into words, and that you have pulled it off with such humour and sensitivity speaks volumes about you as a person. I do hope you post more, this is a truly memorable read.

p.s. so Toxic Tobias turned out to be alright after all? I liked that.

Debbie R wrote 542 days ago

Peter

You have a natural talent for writing humour. Da's comments had me laughing, 'You could count her ribs without even skinning her' is one of my favourites.
Your writing flows for an easy read and the dialogue if totally believable. I like the M/C's voice - self-effacing and engaging.
Loved the 'fall-open tubes' and 'mental cycle'.

Apart from humour there is obviously a serious tone to this with Aaron aware that he is gay and also very aware of the fact his Da and the Catholic church will not approve.

A wonderful read worthy of 6 stars.
Wishing you all the best with it
Debbie
'Speedy McCready'


Cait wrote 544 days ago

My Secret Life:

Have just read the first two chapters and want to read more and when I do, I'll get back to you with a couple of suggestions. Have sprinkled lots of Irish stardust over it for now.

You come from Kerry? I come from Donegal so you might be interested in having a peek at my offering. Always welcome suggestions on how to improve my stories. Hint, hint. ;-)

Sláinte,

Cáit

Man in Black wrote 545 days ago

This is very good. Welcome to my shelf. Derek

Thatguypk wrote 545 days ago

Sincere thanks, Joe, I'd really appreciate you putting the word out. I'm pretty new here and haven't mastered the techniques of the place yet. Your support and encouragement is so welcomed.

He Ain't Heavy, H'e My Buddha is quite brilliant. It's definitely staying on my bookshelf. ;-)

Wussyboy wrote 545 days ago

As a fellow victim of Catholic school upbringing (I got the Jesuits, not a sniff of a nun, not even a garlicky one!) I'm hugely enjoying this, Peter. I've got as far as "To kill a Mocking Brother" and the fart that preserved your anal virginity, lol, and will return for more tomorrow. I don't know why this is on only one shelf - it's a riot and compulsively readable - so will be putting the word out to gain you more support.

Joe Kovacs
He ain't Heavy, He's my Buddha

p.s. normally, I would be making editorial suggests for improvement, but I really can't find any! All that I would ask is, what's your target audience? Oh, and to help establish it, maybe push the boat out and put the word 'gay' somewhere in your pitch?

Wussyboy wrote 545 days ago

I'm 3 chapters in on yours, Peter, and am similarly hooked. This is great writing, gently and effortlessly humorous and poignant by turns. Leaving you 6 stars for now, will comment properly later on.

Lenny Banks wrote 546 days ago

Hi Peter, I took a look at chapter 4, thanks for taking a look at my book. I like your style, it was easy to follow and the characters jumped from the page. I loved the dialect descriptions and think this book is going to be very popular. I think its important to spend time introducing the characters and this chapter works well. Good Luck

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock.

LCF Quartet wrote 548 days ago

Hi Peter,
Wow, what a dynamic opening and a first chapter! I liked what I read so far and I congratulate you for your bold descriptions.

Your voice and pace sounds just right to me, perhaps My Secret Life is sooo my genre. Your writing certainly delivers and I look forward to reading more.
6/6 stars from me and in my Watch List.
Best wishes,
Lucette Cohen Fins- Ten Deep Footprints

Thatguypk wrote 548 days ago

Sincere thanks, Tod. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. I will drop by for a peek at theLost Wink.

Absolutely stellar voice! You manage to breath a tremendous amount of life into your opening chapter, almost entirely due to your beautiful voice. It makes your character pop right off the page. So much fun to read, and very witty, and well polished on top of that. Six stars!
Best of luck with this!
And do drop by for a peek at the Lost Wink.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Tod Schneider wrote 548 days ago

Absolutely stellar voice! You manage to breath a tremendous amount of life into your opening chapter, almost entirely due to your beautiful voice. It makes your character pop right off the page. So much fun to read, and very witty, and well polished on top of that. Six stars!
Best of luck with this!
And do drop by for a peek at the Lost Wink.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

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