Run Wild, Run Free
by Fiona Glass
Tags: Novella UK Setting
Posted in Book Reviews on May 14, 2023
Joey just turned eighteen, although nobody in his family seems to have taken notice. They're all too busy trying to eke out a living in a 1950s Welsh mining town. His father and older brother work down in the mines, which is where Joey will probably end up. He would rather be an artist, but nobody believes he can make a living from it, and they can't afford to send him to school anyway. Then Joey meets Billy, an itinerant farm worker, or ‘gypsy’ as they were called back then, and everything changes.
“Run Wild, Run Free” is a short and sweet romance set in the 1950s, when relations between men were still illegal in the UK. That adds an additional edge to the story, as does the prejudice against gypsies.
Joey is somewhat surprisingly innocent for an eighteen-year-old. He is a reminder of what it was like for young gay men in small towns before the age of the internet and social media. Joey knows he is different. His family and school friends never seem to tire of telling him that, but he has no idea what it is that makes him not fit in.
Billy is the mysterious stranger who turns Joey's world upside down. We don't get to know him quite as well, but it's clear that Billy is much more worldly than Joey. He seems rather happy with his life despite the prejudice his people face. The two together are quite sweet.
“Run Wild, Run Free” is available from Smashwords or Amazon.