Mothers Boy, Patrick Gale ( paperback Feb 2023)
Laura, a laundress, meets her young husband when they are both placed in service in Teignmouth in 1914. They have a baby, Charles, but his father returns home from the trenches a damaged man, already ill with the tuberculosis that will soon leave Laura a widow.
As a new war looms, Charles signs up for the navy as a coder. His escape from the tight, gossipy confines of Launceston to a more colourful life in action sees him blossom, as he experiences the possibility of death, and the excitement - even terror - of a love that is as clandestine as his work.
'Stands with the best queer literary fiction of a historical bent, illuminated as it is by Gale's devilish wit and talent for both social observation and intricacies of character' Sydney Morning Herald