by Jeff Stookey

Book Cover: Acquaintance, Bk 1 of Medicine for the Blues trilogy
Editions:Paperback - 1
ISBN: 9781732603608
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 281

As a young doctor, Carl Holman has experienced the horrors of World War I and the death of his lover, a fellow officer. Back home after the war, he befriends a young jazz musician who he hopes will become a companion he can share his life with. But this is Oregon: the Ku Klux Klan is gaining influence, homosexual acts are illegal, and such a relationship will jeopardize Carl’s promising medical career. Musician Jimmy Harper has his own dreams for the future and his own obstacles to overcome before he will allow himself to accept Carl’s love. More than a gay love story, Acquaintance is a deep dive into gay and lesbian history based on extensive period research of the 1920s. This is Book 1 of Medicine for the Blues trilogy.

Reviews:Tanya Guardino-Lopez on Goodreads wrote:

“…this entire trilogy by Jeff Stookey was incredible…only after finishing this last one can I truly appreciate the scope of what Stookey accomplished here…Stookey was brilliant in his execution…Highly recommend.”
—Tanya Guardino-Lopez, Goodreads review

Gillian on Goodreads wrote:

What an incredible experience! “Acquaintance (Medicine for Blues Book 1) by Jeff Stookey wasn’t all flash with no substance – he touches on some very deep and profound subject matters here. Mr. Stookey hones in on so many aspects of the human condition that applies to everyone (gay, straight, something else…) and tells this multi-layered story in a way that was intimate, respectful, but also real…shows a different side of people’s lives during a time that is very different from now nearly a century ago… but in many ways is still very similar. I actually never knew the KKK was so homophobic (just thought racist) and the spread of influence from churches to politics and society in general to make it a terrifying prospect to be a gay man or woman, especially one who is ‘out’. Some of the worst of human nature, but also some of the best. The last pages did make me want to reach for the next book immediately! (after I wiped away the tears, of course). Overall very well done and I’d recommend this to mature readers of historical lit/gay fiction without hesitation.

Sandra on Amazon wrote:

I picked this up on a whim from the author himself, at a local book festival they had downtown .... I was first intrigued by the cover. It looked interesting, and it looked oldie, vintage, and I took a look at the back. The time period intrigued me, and the prospect of a love story from an angle that isn't heterosexual is a nice change of pace. And, of course, I live in the Portland area.
But I think the thing that made me come back and buy the book, after I walked away the first time, was the bit he said to me about how he wrote this book with current events in mind. Things that have been taking place in our "civilized" century that mirror things that we've already fought against. Racism. Sexism. All manner of prejudices that are coming out more and more because of things like social media.
And I can see it in the story. I've only read this first book, but I can already see it, and I think it's something everyone should read.
(Also, like, c'mon... Carl and Jimmy are friggin' adorable!)

About the Author

Exploring the lives of two gay men in the 1920s, Jeff Stookey had to learn to see through eyes that were not familiar with a post-Stonewall world. These characters were figuring out homosexuality, just as he had, growing up in a small town in rural Washington State. He studied literature, history, and cinema at Occidental College, and then got a BFA in Theater from Fort Wright College. In 1992 he retrained in the medical field and worked for many years with pathologists, trauma surgeons, and emergency room reports. This background led to the creation of the character Carl Holman MD, while a deep dive into gay history and Oregon’s past shaped much of the rest of the trilogy. A novel writing class at The Attic Institute and more than a year with two different creative writing groups helped him bring this story out of the closet. Stookey has lived in Portland, Oregon, for many years with his longtime partner and their unruly garden.

Other Books By Jeff Stookey