Liza Ketchum, 2009.  Twelve-year-old Amelia has just arrived in San Francisco in 1851, and she’s the only girl her age in town.  There are startlingly few women, too – it’s more of a center for shipping and mining, and most of the men seem to have left their wives back East. The novel covers Amelia’s first few weeks in town, as she dresses like a boy to try to fit in with a certain gang and discovers it’s also easier to dismount horses and shinny up ladders this way.  Amelia has a few too many escapades — in the least likely, she accidentally takes off in a hot-air balloon that crashes in the mountains — but this is a good old-fashioned adventure story, so that’s all right. The gay content is expertly woven into the story.  Amelia’s mom has a close friend and business partner, Estelle, who lives with the family.  She pretty clearly is Mom’s life partner as well, although this is never made explicit.  The family does have a secret, and I thought it would be revealed as lesbianism, but in fact it’s that Mom was never married to Dad, so Amelia is a “bastard.”

This entry was posted in 2009, historical, lesbian, Liza Ketchum, queer adult, queer parent, realistic, secondary queer character. Bookmark the permalink.

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