Like Son by Felicia Luna Lemus
Felicia Luna Lemus’s novel Like Son is a revelation in transgender literature, breaking away from nonfiction memoir and diving into the sublimely messy, intensely human life of young Frank Cruz, born Francesca, who carries his family’s history with him as he navigates his exasperating and beautiful relationship with his hipster girlfriend Nathalie.
His story brings us into Frank’s life to witness his blind father’s death from cancer and his disavowal by his mother, who traded her penniless immigrant husband in for a rich white doctor. Frank takes artifacts from his father’s life, including the accoutrements of blindness and some old tailored suits. These pieces of his legacy will get him through tough times as he moves to New York and meets the unpredictable Nathalie. Lemus’s prose is gorgeously evocative, often humorous, and always ready to point out the beautiful contradictions in every aspect of life. This is a novel about being human, embracing change, and honoring one’s past without drowning in nostalgia. It is about a child becoming
an adult—a mystery we all must face.