BOOK CLUB: A Man and His Pride

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A Man and His Pride by Australian author Luke Rutledge is a powerful book on personal development, fulfillment, and growth.

Sean Preston, 26 lives in Brisbane Australia working as an online troll moderator.  When his three-month relationship comes to a demeaning end, he willingly disconnects and turns off emotional connections with others as a defense.  Grindr, alcohol, and uppers become his go-to.  

Struggling to meet standards set by his mother and former girlfriend Abby who both blame him for ruining their lives, Sean connects with 87-year-old Meredith who lives in a nursing home.  When he meets nurse William an unlikely friendship develops. William is shy and inexperienced with same-sex dating finding many obstacles; Sean provides advice and in return learns from William.   

As bonds grow stronger with Meredith and William, Sean’s life starts to turn around. He reconnects with himself, overcoming internal resistance.  Lessons are learned allowing him to make the most of his life for growth, joy, and happiness.

Luke Rutledge has a special knack for enabling people to understand what it means to be gay, his writing comes from a place of compassion and understanding, and the reader can feel it. A Man and His Pride provides a humorous and insightful look, at maintaining ties with one’s family, building love relationships that last and accepting oneself as decent and worthy of respect.

I loved how Luke included the Same-Sex Marriage 2017 Plebiscite in the novel.  The postal survey was very unnecessary, it was an entirely pointless process that should have been legislated through parliament without a public vote.  Being in a position where your life is the subject of such intense scrutiny and debate caused a great deal of stress and emotional turmoil. People had to live through difficult discussions about their lives, and their existence whilst being traumatised through the process. No one has a right to pass judgement on how anyone lives, and who they love. 

LGBTQ+ readers will admire the author’s ability to honestly portray everyday joys and struggles, I feel this book will help young people who may be agonizing with the added layer of complexity that comes with being gay and some of the difficult choices they will make or face in their life. 

You don’t have to be gay to appreciate this book, straight readers, or anyone who might not understand the gay experience will be reminded how significant life is and how to cherish it regardless of your sexuality.

Thank you, Beauty & Lace, and Penguin Australia Pty Ltd for the opportunity to read and review.

A selection of our members are reading A Man and His Pride by Luke Rutledge. You can read their feedback below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: A Man and His Pride

  1. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Penguin for my copy.

    Wow, what a great read! I found this book to be raw, honest and totally entertaining. I was very surprised to find that it’s the author’s debut novel!
    Set in Brisbane in 2017 the story is about Sean, 26 who has just been cheated on and dumped by his lover after a three month long relationship. The other characters are Sean’s mum, an elderly lady friend, Meredith in aged care, Abby who works with Sean and William, who becomes a good friend.
    Be warned, there is swearing, some graphic sex scenes and casual hook-ups. I was totally fine with all of this and found the whole gay dating and hook up scene really interesting. The story is also about gay men trying to navigate the dating app scene, mainly GrindR, social media both in the workplace and private, gym workouts and body imagery.
    The story also bounces back to Sean’s life as a boy and teenager about trying to work out his sexuality, coming out and also the same-sex marriage plebiscite.
    A very well written book that flows nicely and comes highly recommended.

    5 stars

  2. Initially I was feeling out of my comfort zone as I read the first chapter but persevered thinking positive. I’m glad I did. Sean portrayed his life in a raw and real life scenario. Being “different “ and dealing with parents who didn’t support his sexuality along with feeling a lot of guilt from past friendships and relationships, Sean finally finds peace within himself. Openly gay in his 20’s, experiencing many one night stands he becomes friends with William. William, while young in age, has a lot of wisdom and really does take Sean to task at times.
    It’s reality as life is now for us all to become more aware that no matter our life preferences or make up we are all humankind.
    A heartfelt story for all to read.
    Well done Luke Rutledge for writing A Man and His Pride!

  3. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review “A man and his pride” by Author Luke Rutledge.

    This read is both uplifting, honest, funny and heartbreaking. Set in 2017 during Australia’s same sex marriage plebiscite and the raw and honest reality of Australia’s stance at that time. This story follows the unflinchingly life of gay main character Sean Preston who despite his outward appearance of having a superficial lifestyle, speaks of life as a gay man in the age of digital apps such as Grindr. Sean is a traumatised soul who has deep, unresolved psychological PTSD and whom ultimately finds himself with the help of the sweet, naive William, a Nurse whom he meets at the Nursing home of elderly resident Meridian, whom Sean regularly visits.
    Other notable characters Laurence, Abby and Sean’s ex Luke make this a story.
    It’s very raw and honest in it’s descriptions which can feel a little strange as a non-gay person, however it really does illustrate that regardless of your sexuality, we are all humans who want to be loved.
    A very entertaining, honest read and amazing to think it is Author Luke Rutledge’s debut novel, wow, if he keeps up on this trajectory, this will be an Author to watch.

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review “A man and his pride” by Author Luke Rutledge but unfortunately I was unable to get into this book and was unable to complete it. I cannot actually recall selecting this book but must have to have received it to review. To be clear it had nothing to do with the gay/sexuality side of it, that does not worry me at all as I have family members who are gay and I have the best relationships with them, I just could not get into reading this one.
    This would have to be the first time I haven’t been able to fully complete one.

  5. A Man and his pride by Luke Rutledge , Thank-you beauty and lace for giving me the chance to read such a concise comprehension novel.
    The main character is 26 year old Sean who is gay and was in a relationship with a man named Jake who inevitably went back to his former boyfriend. Sean then moves out and gets help and relationship advice from his long time friend Abby.
    Ina time when same sex marriage was all new in Australia in 2017 and Sean relied on dating apps such as Grindr to find dates .
    When Sean meets a shy nurse name William and they become friends but has Sean found love or is there more to William that meets the eye .
    I enjoyed the book and learnt a little bit of what it would be like in Sean’s world..
    A very clear readable book for any age .

  6. A Man and His Pride was a really interesting read about finding oneself when one doesn’t realise they’re lost.

    The story, while set in a short time frame, travels far, with the main character Sean moving from someone seemingly content with their life to someone who realises there’s more and I really enjoyed being part of the journey.

    While I may not be super familiar with the scene, the style of writing really helped take me through the emotions and connect with the story.

    Definitely a great read.

  7. Thank you to Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read A Man and His Pride, a debut novel by Luke Rutledge.
    This story follows Sean, a 26-year-old gay man, as he struggles through life, in Brisbane during the 2017 Same Sex Marriage plebiscite. Sean has never been ‘openly’ gay, rather he lives his life to what he thinks others’ want of him, dressing straight, listening to music he’s not passionate about, and he even decides not to vote in the same sex marriage plebiscite, he lives his life as a straight man. The only gay thing Sean partakes in is sleeping with men. All of this restraining of his personality, his mentality, leads to him struggling with his self-identity.
    I think many readers would find it hard to like Sean at the beginning, he comes across as self-centred, egotistic but it all comes down to understanding of him, and the results of living his life inauthentically. The way he has repressed his outgoing gay urges, leads him into a life of bedding many a man – life going nowhere.
    Enter, William. William is a kind hearted, awkward Nurse, who is also gay but a very inexperienced gay. Shy William and troubled Sean dive into a deep friendship, where Sean promises to show William how to utilise the gay dating scene. As Sean is guiding William through gay dating, he inadvertently begins to learn new personality traits for himself. Sean learns to self-love, self-respect, himself and to be out and proud of his lifestyle choice.
    I put my hand up for this book because it relates to a time in my family’s life, where my younger sister realised she was gay (she obviously knew earlier, but as Sean did, she also tried to suppress this side of her as she thought she was letting my parents down). I always wondered how she felt coming out to everyone. It’s why I have so much respect for my sister, she’s so strong and inspiring. I found my heart soared throughout this book. Definitely worth the read.

  8. I was really glad to be selected to read this book, I found it to be beautifully raw and honest and wickedly entertaining.
    Having had a few gay/bisexual close friends I’ve always been fascinated with the subject. Well fascinated may not be the right word to use but I’ve always been really curious to know more about it. And now I know what it would appear like from Sean’s perspective.
    Amazing work by Luke Rutledge, he will be an author to watch for sure!

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