This novel continues the saga of Jay, a young man from northern Canada, as he and his friends make their way through the challenges and pitfalls of life in the metropolis of Winnipeg, the capital city of Manitoba.
Follow Jay and his friends as they have encounters of the spiritual kind with the Bahá'i Faith and a native (First Nation) shaman. Gain a personal insight into what it's like to live on a Hutterite Colony, to be an Hasidic Jew, or a New Age enthusiast.
Add to the mix Jay's problems with his girlfriend's wealthy father who plots to end their relationship, his gay friend Steve's efforts to educate the world, and you have an unusual reading experience.
The "backpage" summary of Souls of a Feather
PREFACE TO SOULS OF A FEATHER
Although this novel is a sequel to Spirits of a Feather, there is no need to have read the previous one. Each book is a self-contained, albeit related, story.
The previous novel, Spirits of a Feather, documents the first six months in the life of a young man named Jay as he learns the joys and pitfalls of a big city. The events of his daily life force him to develop a personal identity within his peer group.
This book, Souls of a Feather, follows Jay's life for the next year and a half. During this time, he begins to search for spiritual foundations within himself and in the life around him.
* * *
For readers who prefer a bit of background information the following brief introduction of the main characters, common to both novels, may be helpful.
Jay - a seventeen-year-old boy who leaves his dysfunctional family in northern Manitoba to search for a new life in the metropolis of Winnipeg. The city of Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba and is situated straight north of Fargo, North Dakota. Jay's search for his biological father takes him to California by the end of the first novel.
Phil - the man who befriends Jay when he first arrives in Winnipeg and provides him with moral support and a place to stay. Phil is on disability leave from the police force until such a time as he is able to get his periodic bouts of aggression under control.
Steve - one of Phil's friends who is a travel agent during the workweek and a flamboyantly gay man on the weekends. He helps Jay overcome his homophobia and eventually becomes one of his trusted friends.
Sue - Jay's girlfriend until her wealthy father decides their relationship should end before Christmas.
Helen and George Parkington - Sue's parents who live in an affluent area of Winnipeg.
Cam, Jamie, and Tiffany - Phil's friends from his high school days. Although heterosexual, Cam likes to dress up and go with Steve to gay bars and clubs for entertainment. Cam and Jamie live as friends in the same apartment. Tiffany is supported by her parents while she searches diligently for a permanent boyfriend.
Becky and Jimmy - friends who have lived together in a shaky relationship for two years. Jimmy was a smalltime crook and is a former drug user. They are friends of both Jay and Sue.
Tanya - A New Age sort of girl who floats in and out of Jay's life, invariably upsetting it.
Han Sing - owner of a small restaurant and bar called the Red Dragon. Jay gets his first job there and lives in a room above the establishment.
R.B. - an old native (First Nation) shaman who also lives in a room above the Red Dragon. His full name is Running Bear but everyone calls him by his initials. He helps Jay to look within himself for spiritual strength, and beyond himself for meaning in his life.