Today’s book for review, A Complicated Love by Dene Rossouw has great reader reviews but little following in either paperback or Kindle form. It’s a shame. It’s a painfully great story of love and understanding and it should get more attention than it does. I hope to help it along, even just a little bit.
Dene Rossouw is a South African man who emigrated with his wife Deborah to Canada. Their 4 sons all stayed behind to finish college in their homeland. Rossouw has a degree in Theology and works as an “Engagement Specialist”. As such, he does executive coaching and conflict resolution, among many other things.
He unfortunately missed all the signs and never saw it coming when his son Jared told him, after he and Deborah moved, that he was gay. Rossouw went through many of the often typical emotions of anger, fear, guilt (was it his fault…how could this have happened) and so forth. Eventually, Jared would leave South Africa and go to Nova Scotia. He and his dad would undertake a road trip through the rural countryside and talk all along the way. They recorded these intense, emotional conversations. Later, their talks were transcribed for this book.
Everything you would expect to hear in a conversation between a straight father and a gay son is here and then some. There is anger (on both sides), fear (mostly from dad), misconceptions (dad again) and, finally and most important of all love – a parent’s love for a child, no matter what.
This is a book that will make you cringe, shake your head at ignorance, be angry at denial, and cheer at resolution. It’s all here. If you’re a parent and your son or daughter is gay, and you’re filled with fear, questions, anger or dread; you should read this book.