Title: The Stonewall Inn: Settling
Author: D.J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages/Word Count: 38000 Words
At a Glance: There is fact and fiction melded together in this story, just a little touch of a mystery too, and it’s very well done!
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Sam owes his and his mothers’ jobs at the Stonewall Inn to a violent, closeted mobster, so he puts up with a lot of things, including the man’s abuse. In fact, when rookie cop Luke Delany meets him for the first time, Sam’s face is black and blue.
In general, Sam doesn’t care for many white men, especially cops who are constantly harassing nonwhites and homosexuals like himself. But Luke is in great turmoil over his own sexuality and needs Sam’s help. Is Sam willing to aid a lawman whom he considers an enemy?
Review: D.J. Manly has written a heartbreaking and heartwarming story set in 1969. There is fact and fiction melded together in this story, just a little touch of a mystery too, and it’s very well done!
Samuel Brooks works at the Stonewall as a bartender. The bar caters to a gay clientele, and to anyone who is labeled as different. Here, the customers can be themselves. The bar is owned by a violent mobster by the name of Lewis Marconi, and Sam, in a way, feels indebted to Marconi. The man gave Sam a job at the bar, got his mother a good job too, and promised a decent place for his mother to live. Besides being gay, Sam is also interracial, with blue eyes and straight brown hair, just another reason for the police to harass him. And, he pays a dangerous price in his job—he is abused physically by Marconi.
Luke Delany comes from a long line of police officers: his grandfather, father, brother, and now, himself. He has his own personal issues with his father’s domineering attitude and his Mother’s questionable happiness. Luke wants to make the best of his career and maybe, someday, make detective. He also struggles with the fact that he is gay.
When Charlie Waters, his partner, takes Luke to the Stonewall Inn, he not only meets Samuel for the first time but also becomes suspicious. He doesn’t like the fact that the people in the bar fear the police, and that Charlie is talking with Lewis Marconi, a well-known mobster. Luke starts to get sick and tired of the crude remarks from Charlie and the other officers, the raids and harassment, and the fear reflected on people’s faces. But finally, when one last raid takes place at the Stonewall, we see a change in the people; they are no longer afraid and they fight for their respect and freedom.
The Stonewall Inn: Settling is a well written story of two men—one who already knows he’s gay, the other just facing that realization, but both struggling with telling their families. There’s also a little bonus in the Author’s Note by D.J. Manly. Stonewall Inn, of course, is now a landmark in New York City and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on June 28th, 1999. Besides the historical facts within the fiction, this novel gives us a look at an “ideal world” for Luke and Samuel.
You can buy The Stonewall Inn: Settling here: