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His Ladyship Reviews

5 stars from 'BeetleyPete' 14/11/21


I recently bought a Kindle copy of Stevie's latest novel, ‘His Ladyship, and read it in two sessions.

This will be my 5-star review on Amazon.

***No spoilers***

This is the story of Norman, growing up feeling he is mis-gendered as part of a family where such things are neither tolerated, nor discussed. The family dynamic is established early on, with Norman being spoilt as the youngest, and having a difficult relationship with his older siblings. This becomes worse when he starts to openly question his sexual identity, which is met with a mixture of disappointment and scorn.

His reaction is to withdraw. He stops going to school, then never bothers to find a job. To the outrage of his brothers and sisters, he is mollycoddled by a widowed mother determined to do everything for him. And he lets her. Growing older, and becoming very fat, he spends all of his time in his bedroom, acting out his fantasy of being a woman. Wanting to become Norma, instead of Norman.

In this book we follow his journey to that transition, right up to date with the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Despite some detailed medical information, there is nothing overtly sexual or salacious in this book.

From the start, Norman is very much an unsympathetic character. He is hard to like, selfish, uncaring, and shows little regard for his mother as she grows old, wearing herself out caring for him. When his siblings arrive to berate him for his behaviour, their mother defends him, and Norman locks himself away in his room, refusing to face any criticism.

Once he begins to cross-dress, to stick by his determination to be called Norma, and seek gender reassignment surgery, he has to deal with the lack of understanding from his confused mother, and outright hostility and humiliation from some family members. But that very determination changing Norman into Norma also alters his personality, making him kinder, and allowing him to break free of his room into the outside world.

The world he chooses to explore is the London LGBTQ scene, where he is startled to find acceptance, friendship, and eventually, a temporary job. From this point on, Norma begins to finally grow up, despite already being in her late fifties.

This is a story exploring one person’s difficult experience to be accepted for what she has always believed she was. Facing counselling, painful surgery, and long years of waiting.

I finished the book really liking Norma, and rooting for her to find peace and happiness.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent

Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2021

Verified Purchase

Well written , enjoyable characters. I enjoyed it. The happy ending was perfect. Fascinating subject, with just enough detail to make it read like a memoir.

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3D2GY0URFK5K4/


4.0 out of 5 stars

Such an amazing journey...

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 November 2021

Verified Purchase

This story opens when Norman was just four years old, bitterly unhappy with his birthday presents.

He was already raising eyebrows at his choice of friends and the toys he preferred to play with.

Even at the age of four, he knew he was different.

As he grows up, he becomes increasingly confused and unhappy, hiding away from the world. Eventually becoming something he likes even less, overweight, uncaring of anything or anybody, and obsessed with his fantasies.

Normans struggle was like watching a butterfly appearing from a chrysalis. Not immediately beautiful, but the signs were there.

His journey was long, painful and frustrating, but finally ending with him achieving happiness.

Although I rooted for him throughout, I couldn’t help wishing he hadn’t wasted so much time…

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5 out of 5 stars by Darlene Foster

https://www.amazon.ca/review/RZ49T54TE828Y


2/1/22

This well-told story proves it is never too late for happiness. For as long as he could remember, Norman was never happy as a male, but his family didn't understand that. He wasted almost 60 years doing nothing and being unhappy. At the beginning of the book, Norman seems like a total loser. Although his mother dotes on him, the rest of the family are mean to him. The story takes us through Norman/Norma's transformation and his family's reactions. A true-to-life story, with very real characters. The book would help people who are confused about their gender and help their families and friends to understand. But it is a book for everyone, as it is ultimately a book full of hope and love.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartbreaking Struggle to Find Oneself! https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RFBQ6J96I8PC3

Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2022 by Janice Spina

Verified Purchase

His Ladyship is a story of a sad, lost and confused soul who is trapped inside a man’s body but has all the emotions of a woman. But what can he do? He can’t get a job because he is not interested in doing what men do. When he tried he was tormented for being different and not manly enough. He longs to take a job in an office with women which is what he truly thinks he is.

Norman Wicks struggled from childhood with mixed feelings. On the outside he was a male but on the inside he was a female. As a child he only wanted to play with his sisters’ dolls and push around their pram. No one can understand that he doesn’t want trucks, cars and toy soldiers to play with. He wants a doll to dress and change.

He wasted most of his life before he made a life-changing decision to become a woman. This story is a heartbreaking tale of how some poor souls in life have had to struggle to find themselves and be who they longed to be. It took great courage and stamina for Norman to finally have a life and find love and acceptance from his family.

The author has done a commendable joy getting inside the mindset of this tortured soul. Anyone who has struggled as Norman has will gain confidence from reading this story.

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5 stars from Robbie Cheadle 6/2/22

This book tackles the difficult topic of a person whose soul is trapped in the body of the wrong gender. There is a lot of controversy about which internal conflicts are gender related and which are sexuality related and I don't feel qualified to comment on them as my upbringing was so conservative and rigid I only know a little about these topics. I can, however, comment on how this author's characterization of Norman Wilkes, a man of 57 who has always identified as female, made me feel.

I felt terrible for Norman. He was born at a time when everything was black and white when it came to gender and his parents and siblings were conservative. There was no-one for him to talk to about his inner turmoil and confusion and so he withdrew from society, spending his life locked up his room.

Norman lives on unemployment from the government and only tries to get a job once. Because of his outwardly masculine appearance, he is sent to try out a job in a warehouse for which he is entirely unsuited. It ends in humiliation and catastrophe for Norman and is incredibly sad.

At the age of 57, when his mother is 93, Norman realises that time is running out for him and he needs to do something immediately if he wants to salvage what's left of his life. He decides to out himself as a transgender man.

His mother and siblings reaction to his news is heartbreaking as they are initially unable to be kind or find any pleasant or supportive way of interacting with their brother. They actually are obstructive and make his life harder. Norman is determined though and goes ahead with his plans anyway which showed real strength of spirit and also desperation.

Norman is certainly not depicted as being a perfect person. In fact, he is selfish and self centred. His demanding behaviour towards his elderly mother is disgusting, but, as you progress with this novel and learn more about Norman, you start feeling more sorry for him than annoyed or judgmental. You discover the narrow-mindedness of his family and understand why he feels so trapped and unloved. No-one has ever tried to discover why Norman behaves the way he does, even his mother, despite her defense of his perceived "lazy" behaviour.

The changes to Norman's personality and behaviour become more notable as the story unravels and you get a good insight into how much happier and kinder Norman could have been if there had been a little more understanding of his difficulties earlier in his life. It is impossible not to cheer Normal on as he starts down his new lifepath.

This book has a positive ending and is well researched and interesting.