Book review by Paul Blythe.
SheGate is the last book in the Jason Loring trilogy, following on from Jason’s Secret and Winning. We catch up with Jason at age 50 as he is going through a mid-life crisis involving his relationships and work. He uses his philosophy on life, his experiences and support network to sort out his somewhat chaotic life. Jason, eventually, follows his dreams regarding work and finds a woman he loves and cherishes. It is a story about hope and accomplishment. As the story unfolds we become aware that Jason does not focus on fixing his stammer but nevertheless is a good communicator and capable of forming lasting and loving relationships. In the Epilogue he even 'considers how stammering helped him learn to live with ease'.
In middle age Jason is perfectly at ease with his stammer. 'When I do [stutter], I just let it roll away back to stutter-land, or wherever stutters go'. He has long periods of fluency and no longer finds it the challenge it was when he was younger 'When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change'. Jason has learned to deal with stammering in a way that suits him best. His close and long-standing friends are a very important part of his life because they are his support network and accept his stammer without criticism. Nevertheless, this does not mean his friends fully understand stammering because David trots out some familiar stammering myths: 'Anyway, I read somewhere that stuttering is a sign of nervousness and of lying'.
'When I do [stutter], I just let it roll away back to stutter-land, or wherever stutters go’
The thought-provoking way Jason deals with his stammer is influenced by Ellen-Marie Silverman's experience as a speech pathologist and the way she deals with her own stammer. It will please some readers and irritate others. Such is life.
SheGate is a short story that raises your spirits and puts stammering firmly in its place.