Book Title: In Between
Author: Jane Hoppen
Publish Date: December 16th, 2013
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Never have there been only two genders—male and female. A third gender, denied by society and hidden by the medical community, has always existed, and that is what Sophie Schmidt discovers when, at the age of fourteen, she learns the truth of how she was born. Sophie then embarks on a journey to learn more about her true self and to find others born like her. When Sophie moves to New York City, she enters the world of gays and lesbians, as well as those who are transgender and transsexual. Searching for her own place in society, her journey leads her to Alice Parker, and Sophie takes the final steps to accept herself enough to allow another to love her.
Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
The beginning of this book was very predictable as I had done a lot of research on this condition for my own interest. So I already knew about the condition that Sophie Schmidt was born with.The author really makes us feel sympathy for Max and Mary, Sophie’s parents, as they grapple with the information that they receive upon Sophie’s birth. You can tell that they love their child and are so scared of making the “wrong” decision. Well Mary more than Max.
Their decision not to say anything to anyone seemed cruel. Not only are they punishing Sophie by not being honest with her, they are also punishing their friends and family and most notably Sophie’s older sister Holly. When Sophie discovers the truth at age 14, she is overcome with anger, horror and disgust. Most of it directed at her parents but she saves some of that disgust for herself as she begins to take a closer look at her own body.
She’s furious that her parents kept the secret from her for so long. She feels ashamed of herself. She feels ugly and repulsive. Not totally unexpected given her age as most girls feel that way at some point during their teen years. But for her it’s different. SO different.I was so, so happy that Holly didn’t abandon her sister after learning the truth. I was so afraid that Holly would call her sister terrible names and when that didn’t happen, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Sophie had a lot of family support in the book which was really nice to see.Except her grandmother was not the most supportive woman in the world and in fact did not know of Sophie’s condition until after Sophie had been told.Mary had been very protective of Sophie and she had been afraid that her devout Catholic mother would have something terrible to say or criticize Sophie on.
Watching Sophie blossom into a young lady, moving far away from home, was exciting. I did understand her reluctance to get into a relationship though. She didn’t want to get close to someone only to have them repulsed by her condition which was something she couldn’t help.
I had never read a book dealing with this, oftentimes still taboo subject. All I had read about this condition involved research papers and case studies. Interesting yes, but they didn’t talk about the emotional side of things like this book did.
I loved the characters and the setting. Not too many books are in a farm setting which I think is such a SHAME. The characters were interesting definitely not flat… well with the small exception of Max. I don’t feel like I got to know him nearly as well as I got to know the others,but from what I did see of him, I liked him.
I am really, really glad that I took a chance on this book. I didn’t love the ending and I wished that it had been longer or that there had been an epilogue or something to tie up some loose ends. Also, I didn’t really get emotional during this book. I was really bummed and I had hoped that this book would bring me serious feels and it did not. So that’s why the book will be getting 4 stars.