Review: Sighs Too Deep For Words

From the publisher: SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS is the story of a man in prison who falls in love, through lengthy correspondence, with a woman he’s never met. Getting out, he goes to find her and discovers that the love letters he’s received were written not by a woman but by a closeted gay man — a small town minister. Not only did the minister deceive the prisoner, but he sent a photograph of his sister (who lives with him) as a picture representing himself. And not only is the sister unaware of the ruse, but she herself happens to be a lesbian. The ex-prisoner has fallen in love physically with a woman who doesn’t know he exists, and mentally with a man he doesn’t know how to love. Set in the scenic Texas Gulf Coast fishing village of Rockport, SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS is a darkly humorous and contemplative examination of the parameters of love, sex, sexuality and cultural perspective.

My Review:

Deftly conveying the stark contrast between rural Texas life and the violence of prison survival, Sibley spins a tale that should read like a soap opera but instead reads like high quality drama. The reader is drawn in from the very first page and quickly begins to care about these disparate characters, eagerly wondering what twists will come next.

I find that there are often LGBT novels wholely focused around the gay characters and their relationships, and this novel takes a much more realistic approach – emphasizing several different kinds of relationships. While there is still significant emphasis on the gay / lesbian relationships in the novel, they are embedded in the greater fabric of relationships in the story. I greatly enjoyed the self discovery and intensity of emotion conveyed in the novel and truly cared about what would happen to the characters and their complex relationships.

While not a “light” read, I fully recommend this book.

William Jack Sibley’s first novel ANY KIND OF LUCK (www.anykindofluck.weebly.com) was published by Kensington in 2001. It was nominated for a Lambda award (Best Romance), The Texas Institute of Letters “Funniest Book of the Year” John Bloom Award and the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year. His play MORTALLY FINE was produced Off-Broadway and numerous of his screenplays have been optioned by such directors and actors as John Schlesinger, Arthur Hiller and Diane Ladd. His writing has appeared in the UTNE READER, HALLMARK MAGAZINE, BRILLIANT MAGAZINE, THE SAN ANTONIO CURRENT, THE ORLANDO WEEKLY, THE DALLAS TIMES HERALD, HERITAGE MAGAZINE, TEXAS CO-OP MAGAZINE, THE DEAD MULE (“A Journal of Southern Literature”), FLYING COLORS, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES MAGAZINE and THE NEW YORK NATIVE. In addition to screenwriting, playwrighting and journalism Sibley is a fifth generation Texan who oversees his family’s ranching operations in South Texas. www.williamjacksibley.com

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