Amanda Jane's Reviews > Tom Houghton

Tom Houghton by Todd Alexander
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Aug 14, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley, aussie-authors, historical-fiction
Recommended to Amanda by: NetGalley


Tom Houghton by Todd Alexander was an absolute delight to read, that will pull at your heart strings. The story is told from two alternating narratives, Tom Houghton as an adult, the other himself as a 12 year old boy. Through his story as a child we come to understand how Tom became the adult he is today.

As a boy growing up in the 1980's Tom lives in the Western suburbs of Sydney with his mother and grandfather. To say that Tom's family is dysfunctional would be an understatement. He is obsessed with Hollywood particularly the Silver Screen of the Golden Age and Katherine Hepburn is his favourite actress. Tom is a lonely boy with no father, no siblings and no friends, who is struggling with his sexuality. Tom is bullied relentlessly because of not fitting into the world of football and rough housing. To cope with the stress of bullying and his home life, he spends his time cutting out pictures from magazines and cataloging all of Hollywood's Stars. He is living in a world of dreams that are reaching the point of delusion as an escapism from his heartbreaking reality. The lonelier he becomes, the more obsessed he becomes with Katherine Hepburn and what he learns about her will change Tom forever.

As a man, Tom is certainly not the beautiful young man full of optimism and hope that we met as a child. It seems in many ways the years have broken him down. He has a younger boyfriend but his insecurities and doubts about himself are destroying the relationship and all that it could be. He is a stage actor who is bitter and seems jealous of fellow colleagues accomplishments. Tom is an alcoholic and not a pleasant one at that. As such, sadly he is not reaching his full potential as either and actor or as a man.

Tom needs to revisit himself as a boy to heal the man. It is only then will he understand just who is Tom Houghton.

Alexander has written a story, that reminds us of what it is to be human and that it okay to be different. We need to learn to love ourselves and others for exactly who they are. It also never hurts to remind people that any type of bullying is never okay. It is a book I would love to see in high school libraries.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Netgalley, Todd Alexander, and Simon and Schuster Australia for a copy to read in exchange for an honest and fair review.



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Reading Progress

August 14, 2015 – Shelved
August 14, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 14, 2015 – Shelved as: netgalley
August 14, 2015 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
August 14, 2015 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 22, 2015 – Started Reading
August 23, 2015 –
page 0
0.0% "I have been looking forward to reading this! :)"
August 23, 2015 –
23.0% "I am already loving this book and the protagonist Tom!"
August 24, 2015 –
35.0%
August 25, 2015 –
50.0%
August 26, 2015 –
69.0%
August 27, 2015 –
85.0% "Deloio"
August 27, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review!!!!!


Amanda Jane Thank you Deanna, I did not there was quite a few typos but the publisher and author were happy with it.
The publisher has now auto-approved me which I am very happy about it because I have always read a lot from Simon and Schuster Aus :)


message 3: by Monnie (new)

Monnie Good review, Amanda! Have to say I'm appalled that the publisher and author are happy with the typos, though.


Amanda Jane Thanks Monnie.
Yes, I was surprised also but I think because I have written a number of reviews for them without typos and always on time. I think it was because I had informed them of the personal issues I have been struggling with that they gave me a little leeway..


message 5: by Monnie (new)

Monnie Amanda wrote: "Thanks Monnie.
Yes, I was surprised also but I think because I have written a number of reviews for them without typos and always on time. I think it was because I had informed them of the personal..."


Ah, sorry - I misunderstood! I thought you meant there were lots of typos in the BOOK.


Amanda Jane It's all good Monnie. :-)
I was actually appalled when I read my review the next day!


Amanda Jane Appalled with myself..just so there's no misunderstanding :-)


message 8: by Monnie (new)

Monnie Amanda wrote: "Appalled with myself..just so there's no misunderstanding :-)"

I hear ya!


message 9: by Christine (new)

Christine Brilliant review, my friend! This one is right up my alley, AJ. Looks terrific.


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