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Speak Its Name

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4.47  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A new year at the University of Stancester, and Lydia Hawkins is trying to balance the demands of her studies with her responsibilities as an officer for the Christian Fellowship. Her mission: to make sure all the Christians in her hall stay on the straight and narrow, and to convert the remaining residents if possible. To pass her second year. And to ensure a certain secr ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Kathleen Jowitt
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Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  30 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Gaby LezReviewBooks
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
'Speak its name' follow a couple of years in the campus life of Lydia, an English undergraduate student at the fictional University of Stancester in England. Lydia is as an Evangelical Christian struggling with her own sexuality. As a practising Christian, can she still feel welcome in her church if she comes out as a lesbian?

This novel present two main themes. One is the relationship - often more political than religious - between different Christian churches in university life. The other is t
...more
Sherwood Smith
When I saw the blurb for this book—about a gay and fundamentalist character—I had to read it. Though once I downloaded it, I didn’t open it for a while, in trepidation. Too many stories especially in science fiction and fantasy, my favorite genres, tend to depict persons of faith (especially the more conservative ones) as hatemongers and venal, child-molesting rapists, and at best as stupid hypocrites, that I was afraid this book might go there as well.

I should have, um, had faith.

Jowitt does tw
...more
Carol Hutchinson
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good, intriguing story.

It focuses on religion and sexuality which was quite the combination and tackled the conflict faced by Lydia, a gay Christian.

Lydia is on quite the journey, discovering that it’s ok to be who she is both in her faith and sexuality, and how difficult acceptance of these two things together can be. She faces many obstacles on this journey and has the help of Colette and some other wonderful friends along the way.

I liked how this book made me think, the ha
...more
Becca
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was incredibly personal for me. I almost don't know where to start. I will begin with the story was well done. It pulled me in and kept me intrigued as to what would happen. The characters were so real it was almost as if she was writing about someone she knew or the book based on a true story. I will admit there were a few moments of a lull when some things were being overly explained such as some of the scriptures, but overall was I felt this tale was very good.

Lydia is trying hard
...more
Alex
This review also appears on my blog alexreadsboooks
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Lydia Hawkins is an Evangelical Christian and a lesbian. Everyone knows the former, but no one can ever find out the latter.

But when she meets the inhabitants of 27 Alma Road, she starts to realise that maybe it doesn't have to be this way. And as she accepts that there are more ways to be Christian, she also begins to discover that there are more ways to be herself.

But when a member of the Catholic Society starts questioning if the Christia
...more
Kitty McIntosh
’Speak Its Name’ by Kathleen Jowitt is ostensibly about the political interactions between various Christian factions within Stancester University. Lydia Hawkins is part of the Christian Fellowship and is trying to keep the faith while dealing with a secret she does not want to get out. As she mixes more with other christians of various denominations she is exposed to views that are very different from her upbringing and the version of Christianity she is trying to preach in her role as Hall Off ...more
Stevie Carroll
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

There are a fair few romances out there in which characters are guided by their faith to resolve issues relating to love and a good number of stories in which LGBT characters move on from the faith of their childhood to a belief system that is more accepting. There are also plenty of non-fiction books whose aim is resolving conflicting issues of faith and sexuality, and I dare say a reasonable number aimed at people in mixed-faith relation
...more
A.M. Leibowitz
This is probably a book best enjoyed by people who have connections to Christian communities or have an understanding of them. However, if anyone wants a glimpse into the world of conservative evangelical Christianity, this is an excellent example of what it looks like. It's also a good read for straight Christians who want to understand what it's like to be LGBTQ within those conservative spaces.

It's hard to categorize my own feelings after reading this. At times, it was so familiar as to be pa
...more
Sadie Slater
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this because everyone on my DW reading list seemed to be reading it, and the author, Kathleen Jowitt, is a friend of friends and someone I've recently started following (and who I hope to come to know better, as she seems lovely - I'm not sure how I missed making her acquaintance for so long). And because it sounded like something I'd enjoy.

It was indeed something I enjoyed. It's set at a fictional university in the West of England at some point after mobile phones, laptops, email and F
...more
TheCosyDragon
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Lydia is part of the Christian Fellowship, the strictest and least forgiving of the Christian societies on her college campus. While she enjoys leading others into the words of God, Lydia is often left feeling like she has missed something from her own readings of the scripture – how can she be feeling these things towards other people if the Bib
...more
Zoe
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Although I appreciate LGBTQ Christian stories, Speak Its Name felt a little hollow.

I couldn't truly connect with any of the characters, especially the main. Jowitt used a slightly apathetic, slightly sarcastic narration tone that I couldn't read as anything but hollow and detached. Instead of empathizing with the characters I felt similarly apathetic and sarcastic toward them. Even the love interest, whom the narration is supposed to love by extent of the main character loving them, made no impr
...more
Sheenagh
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Horribly realistic about student christendom and friends confirm it's horribly realistic about university politics at the time. (Though obviously the university named is a fictional one.) Much less Barchester and more early Catherine Fox - more personal journey and less politics - than I had expected, but perhaps a better novel for it. I would be very interested in reading a companion book focused more broadly on the politicking of the student Christian scene.
Matthew Kilburn
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Polished, meaningful reflection on a same-sex relationship and Christian politics in an early twenty-first century southwest-English university, with a reminder of the special luxuries and special hells of love and freedom of expression, and the petty strictures which we can let rule our lives in youth and afterwards.
Jenn
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great view of student life and politics of university societies - very true to the kind of issues I remember (although that was a different range of societies). Very vivid characters and great story.
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Kathleen Jowitt was born in Winchester and grew up deep in the Welsh Marches and, subsequently, on the Isle of Wight. After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Exeter she moved to Guildford and found herself working for a major trade union.

She now lives in Cambridge, works in London, and writes on the train. Her stories are about people who sort their own
...more
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