ratings · Published: Aug 3rd, 2013
Eustacia's Secret: A Love Story is, as its subtitle suggests, simply a story about love. Those readers who expect a lot of steamy sex will be disappointed, as there is very little of that in the book. The story, laced throughout with humor, pathos, and adventure, is about two teen-aged boys who fall in love. The conflict arises in that one of those boys is a homophobe and the other is a transgender child, a fact of which the homophobic boy, Darcy Cox, is unaware. Darcy is the only child of a professor of classics at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire; Stanford Abernathy, the transgender boy, is the only child of a linguistics professor at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. The two professors were classmates and best friends at Dartmouth. When it becomes clear that Stanford's increasingly feminine appearance is making it impossible for him to maintain his male identity in Jamaica, where effeminate boys are vilified and bullied, his parents send him to live with the Coxes. He arrives as a girl with the name Eustacia, and the only people who know about Eustacia's transgender status are Darcy's parents, the Hanover High School superintendent, and the school nurse. When Darcy and Eustacia fall deeply in love, the elder Coxes are faced with the difficult choice between their promise to the Abernathys to keep Eustacia's secret and their wish to protect their homophobic son from the potentially disastrous consequences of his discovering that secret on his own.