The Perfect Family

Women's Fiction

Winner of the Foreword Book of the Year 2011

What happens to the “perfect family” when the future suddenly changes in the most unexpected way?

Seventeen-year old Jamie Davidson doesn’t think being gay should be such a big deal…until he comes out to his parents and friends.

Even as Jamie celebrates no longer needing to hide his true self and looks forward to the excitement of openly dating another boy, the entire Davidson family is thrown into turmoil. Jamie’s father Mike can’t reconcile his religious beliefs with his son’s sexuality. His brother Brian is harassed by his jock buddies and angry at Jamie for complicating all their lives. Maggie, his mother, fears being able to protect her son while struggling to save her crumbling marriage. And Jamie feels guilty for the unhappiness his disclosure has caused.

Every member of their “perfect family” must search their hearts and souls to reconnect with each other in this honest, heartwarming, and hopeful look at the redemptive power of love and family.


“This well-written book is especially noteworthy, at a time when the suicide of gay teens has been in the news. It illustrates the conflicting psychological and varying religious perspectives on homosexuality, shows where support can be found in communities and with straight allies, and could be invaluable in encouraging a dialogue on such issues among families going through similar events. There is frank talk about suicides, and things that parents should be attuned to notice. The pace is engaging but not overly dramatic, providing a realistic journey for any reader. Give it five stars out of five.”

— Bob Lind, Echo Magazine

“This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I can’t fault it for any reason. Kathryn Shay has taken a personal experience in her own family and produced a superb emotional rollercoaster of a novel. More novels should be written this well. The characters, the writing, and the storyline are superb. As with any excellent novel, this one will stay with the reader long after it’s over. Any parent who has gone through this experience or who has had a friend go through it will immediately empathize. This is one novel where I can honestly say that the cover hype is right on target. There’s nothing fake or fake-feeling about any of this. Whether you’ve been in this situation or not, and regardless of your position the subject, you owe it to yourself to read THE PERFECT FAMILY to understand what gays have to deal with in the world.”

— Rick Taubold, a reader and reviewer

 “As a researcher myself, I am very impressed with Shay’s ability to convey the attitudes and emotions surrounding the family’s coming out process so well. One might even believe there is some biographical content in this novel. Family members’ ability to hurt each other, and their friends’ rejection not only of Jamie but the rest of his family as well, strike true to life. THE PERFECT FAMILY is an easy, conversational read with a strong message. How should families react to such news? How can they protect a beloved child? And, in this case, can Maggie’s marriage survive? I recommend this book highly. It is a must read for anyone dealing with coming out to their family, friends, and coworkers.”

— David Parker, PFLAG

The Details

Publisher: Ocean View Books
Published: December 2013
ISBN-10: 1939501253
ISBN-13: 978-1939501257