“Between These Walls” by John Herrick


John Herrick
Segue Blue (2015)
ISBN 9780991530915
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (05/15)

“Between These Walls” by John Herrick is the story of a young man, Hunter Carlisle. Ever since he was teen, Hunter felt attracted to the same sex. He fought these feelings and prayed for healing. Now in his mid-twenties, Hunter is still trying to live a good Christian life with a girlfriend and a good job. He cares about his girlfriend but something is missing. When things at work start to fall apart, the stress of the situation helps Hunter realize that he is not truly living a life for himself. Not desperate to find a homosexual encounter to help fill the void, Hunter is actually desperate to find someone to can share his thoughts. He knows that his men’s bible group would not be a good place to approach the subject. He fears ridicule and rejection. He also is afraid that his secret will get out.

Occasionally, Hunter meets other men that he feels might share his same inner turmoil. It isn’t until he goes to Gabe, a male massage therapist, that he feels enough of a connection to trust him with the truth. After discovering that Gabe feels the same way, both men slowly explore their attraction to each other. Both are Christian and fear living a life of sin. As time passes, Hunter has no choice but to tell his family the truth. It is not an easy situation, but he is very fortunate to have a compassionate minister to remind him of God’s unconditional love. When Hunter and Gabe’s relationship is outed, Hunter has to deal with his family and unaccepting people from church and his community. It is not an easy time for either man, yet finally being able to be honest about their true feelings helps them a lot. The time has also come for Hunter to learn to live a life being true to himself.

I enjoyed reading “Between these Walls.” The storyline was totally realistic. I talked to a young homosexual man about it and he said that he felt like he would really be able to relate to the plot because before he came out to his family, he felt desperate to talk to someone who could understand what he was going through. He felt revulsion towards himself, yet he found he could not change into a heterosexual. I was pleased to see that he felt he would relate to this story because I think that there are a lot of young men out there experiencing the same tormenting thoughts.

I highly recommend “Between these Walls” as a relatable story for young men going through the same trials. I also think that it will help families gain a better understanding of what their loved one is going through. Trying to reconcile issues with sexual identity along with Christianity is really a tough topic. The author John Herrick really does an excellent job of tying it all together.

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