By Mariechen Puchert
CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Seventeen-year-old Luna can only emerge when the moon is out, because by day she is Liam: handsome, intelligent, male Liam.
Luna, a novel by Julie Anne Peters, is the story of a transsexual teenager and her disgust for the body into which she was born.
Liam’s sister, Regan, narrates the novel. She is the only person who knows and loves Luna, but she also knows that the world may never accept her for who she is.
At the same time, Regan is trying to find her own normalcy in the cruelty that is high school, and being Luna’s sole confidante is clearly a draining experience. Nevertheless she supports and protects Luna above all else.
But Luna cannot continue pretending to be the outward Liam. She needs to transition. Luna follows these experiences with a candidness that is unparalleled as Luna reveals herself to the public.
Published in 2004, Luna was perhaps a bit before her time. Eight years ago, the world was still trying to build bridges between heterosexual and homosexual communities. Today it would appear that while acceptance of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals is slowly improving, transexuality is still largely misunderstood.
With Regan as the protagonist, this novel is accessible to young people who may or may not identify as LGBT, but are looking to know more about being supportive to friends or family. The narrative is simple and clear and the story appropriate even for younger readers.
Luna is neither a tearjerker nor a fast-paced novel. It is simply a tale of acceptance within modern context, shedding light on a poorly-grasped matter.