Allison Banks is the girl next door. She is beautiful, smart and lives in the center
of a small town in Vermont. She is well known and the most popular 6th grade teacher at the local elementary school. Her ex-husband, Will, who is still a close friend, lives nearby as the public radio station manager and their 19 yr old daughter Carly is a well adjusted, intelligent young woman. So you can imagine the shock when Allie takes a summer class at the local university and falls in love with the younger, charismatic good looking teacher, Dana Stevens. Dana is fun, gentle, kind, smart and very quickly the two fall deeply in love. A few months into this whirlwind romance Dana tells Allie the truth, the whole truth. He has been in reassignment therapy for the last two years and is approaching his reconstructive surgery to become a woman. Allie stands by his/her side and the entire town is turned upside down. I was completely immersed in this emotional roller coaster of love, family, trust and acceptance. Chris Bohjalian is an incredible writer and brings the reader deep into the minds of these fantastic characters. The heart slowly breaks for each one of them as the chapters are told from the voices of Allie, Carly, Will and then Dana. I learned through the very graphic description of transgender reassignment surgery, the differences between transgender, transexual and transvestite, which I never understood. Can a person choose to live life as the gender they want? Can you love someone who changes their outside but is the same person you loved inside? What is love and where does desire come from, the heart or the restraints of our society? This book published in 2000, was brought to my attention by the author himself when the Bruce Jenner headlines started to flow. Thank you Chris Bohjalian. Trans Sister Radio should be mandatory reading and it is just the very tip of the iceberg of the acceptance that we need to learn as a society. I could not put this read down and highly recommend it to all my reader friends! A MUST!!
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