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Under the Rainbow

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  9 reviews
When a group of social activists arrive in a small town, the lives and beliefs of residents and outsiders alike are upended, in this wry, embracing novel.

Big Burr, Kansas, is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone shares the same values-or keeps their opinions to themselves. But when a national nonprofit labels Big Burr "the most homophobic
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Riverhead Books
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  • Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey
    Under the Rainbow
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    Release date: Mar 03, 2020
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    Average rating 4.04  · 
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     ·  28 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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    Sarah
    Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley, fiction, queer
    This book is about a group of LGBTQ rights activists who move to the so-called 'Most Homophobic Town in America' for two years in an effort to change hearts and minds. There are multiple narrators (some residents, some activists), which I'm sometimes wary of because it's a trope that's been done poorly more times than it's been done well. A book can get messy with all those characters voicing their opinions and wielding their omniscience all over the place. As soon as I saw that Under the ...more
    Delany Holcomb
    Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This story, told from multiple perspectives living in the most "homophobic town in the United States", is the most ingenious way to talk about sexuality, violence, repression, and honest love for oneself and others. Bouncing between people in this town and working through the good, the bad, and the ugly with them helped me validate how I felt about myself in today's society. Everyone can relate to this book, and everyone knows someone in their life that this book gives visibility to. This title ...more
    Katie O
    Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    From the first page to the very end, I absolutely adored (and will continue to adore) this wonderful book. It's for everyone who's ever questioned, wondered, denied, or accepted--not only about gender and sexuality, but also about the choices that make us human, especially realizing there is no firm answer in situations when we might want one and that people change, for better or worse.

    My favorite quote is in Lizzie's section on p. 225-- "I feel like I'm wasting some gift I've been given but
    ...more
    Brenna Gomez
    Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What an amazing novel! I finished this several weeks ago and it’s still pulsing through my brain. I’ll see an image, or remember a plot point, or think about a character’s trajectory. “Under the Rainbow” chronicles the lives of people in Big Burr, Kansas, the most homophobic town in America. Each chapter examines either a townsperson or a member of the nonprofit sent to Big Burr to try and make the town less homophobic. All characters are compelling here, and I was impressed with the way Laskey ...more
    Meredith
    Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: queer-fiction
    Really enjoyed the multiple characters in this book and its portrayal of the clash between queer advocates and smalltown life. But as a story told from multiple first-person perspectives who come from very different backgrounds, I did find that the prose didn't always live up to the premise in that there wasn't enough distinction in the way the different characters were written, and there were a bit too many plot elements that didn't feel fully-explored, so I can't give it an unqualified five ...more
    Jillian Doherty
    Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    There are so many refreshing perspectives in this book! One wouldn't normally think 'enchanting' when reading about a homophobic town that's infiltrated by LGBTQ+ activists. But the residence of Big Burr, KS - both new and old - have emboldened lives, voices, prejudices, loves, and connections that are so easy to fall into.

    When you're used to stories white wash gay lifestyles with a politely sensitive approach, its refreshing to be offered a story that shares it in vivid color. The voices are
    ...more
    Marjorie McGuire
    Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Great ARC! Hopefully, fairly graphic sexual content at times (for me anyway!) will be noted on the cover notes for the released edition. To me, it was not needed and disrupted my love for the book. I couldn’t exactly tell who the audience was for this book, but thoroughly enjoyed some of the characters.
    Brittany
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Thanks to Netgalley the ARC of this book that I received in exchange for a fair and honest review.

    I loved this book so much. Everything about it. The pacing, the way the stories unfolded and connected, the use of composite novel to show how a disjointed place comes together. Just beautuful.
    kerry cullen
    Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    i loved this book.
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    Celia Laskey’s debut novel Under the Rainbow will be published by Riverhead Books on March 3, 2020. Her other work has appeared in Guernica, The Minnesota Review, Day One, and elsewhere. She was also a finalist in Glimmer Train‘s Short Story Award for New Writers. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and currently lives in Los Angeles with her wife and their dog Whiskey.