Boy Dreamer by Paul Ecke

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Boy Dreamer: An Artist’s Memoir of Identity, Awakening, and Beating the Odds by Paul Ecke

Boy Dreamer by Paul EckeStars: ****

Morrison Meyer Press (2018)
266 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: The year is 1957. Four-year-old Paul Ecke sits timidly at a foreign kitchen table, eating the first inferior meal of many in a foster home. Longing for his beloved mother, he sees her only on short weekend visits that grow more infrequent over time, as she tries unsuccessfully to hide a nervous breakdown, along with yet another growing pregnancy. Struggling to endure the strict rules of the house and the coldness of his foster parents, Paul begins to live in his creative mind where everything is possible and the grandest of dreams take flight. But after his family reunites, the adults he relies on both crumble and harm, as improprieties occur and secrets are slowly revealed that add more layers to the complexity of a visibly sensitive boy’s view of the world.

Despite–or perhaps because of–the emotional angst, complicated sexual identity issues, and deep loss he experiences, Paul cultivates a profound gift of creative genius. Vibrant with candor and resonant with details of coming of age in ’60s and ’70s California, as well as of bravely thriving for a decade with cancer, Boy Dreamer is a moving and ultimately triumphant story of a man who discovers his truth and courageously lives it, in a life brimming with love, art, gratitude, and beauty.

Boy Dreamer

This is the story of a boy, and then a man’s, journey to discover who he is. Despite the bad things that happened in his life, Paul found himself and discovered what he was meant to do. In that way, this book was inspirational. He grew up at a time when being gay wasn’t considered okay and at times he doubted whether there was something wrong with him because of his attraction to men.

He also found himself doing lots of day dreaming and creative things and again, this wasn’t encouraged, probably because of the time it was. I’m sorry he had to go through some of the things he did but he was lucky overall because he found himself.

It must be hard to put himself out there like that, baring all in his memoir but he did a good job of expressing himself. The book pulled me in and I finished it in 2 days.

This book would be of interest to any artists out there as well, or would be artists. The book isn’t all about his identification with the LGBT group. He writes a lot about his artistic side and how he incorporated his love for art and creative side into hobbies and jobs throughout his life. This isn’t a story of someone who wants to make it as an artists but lives off of pennies. Paul Ecke made a career out of his art and is well established as an artists.

The book is definitely one of the most well-written of all the LGBT memoirs I’ve read and the first memoir of an artist I’ve read I think.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.