Fueled by tomato sandwiches and green milkshakes, and obsessed with cars, Philbet struggles with life and love as a gay, physically-misshapen boy in rural Georgia.
He’s happiest when helping Grandaddy dig potatoes from the vegetable garden that connects their houses. But Philbet’s world is shattered and his resilience shaken by events that crush his innocence and sense of security; expose his physical deformity skillfully hidden behind shirts Mama makes for him on her Singer; and convinces him that he’s not fit to be loved by Knox, the older boy he idolizes to distraction.
Over time, Philbet finds refuge in unexpected places and inner strength in unexpected ways, leading to a resolution from beyond the grave.
Four-year-old Jeffrey in his favorite pedal car.
You can’t help but root for Philbet, the unforgettable hero of Jeffrey Dale Lofton’s arresting debut Red Clay Suzie. I was moved by the insights and settings of this book and by the vivid depiction of a unique childhood that feels universal in its longing.
Author, Leading Men