THE GOLDEN SEASON

By Madeline Kay Sneed

How do you love a place that doesn’t love you back?

Emilia “Emmy” Quinn is West Texas through and through: she loves the land, she loves her hometown, she loves football—both professional and her town’s high school team, the Steinbeck ‘Stangs. She also knows she’s a lesbian, and in her Southern Baptist evangelical community, that’s going to be an issue, both for Emmy and her amicably separated parents, Lucy and Steve. After a disastrous conversation with her dad, Emmy meets Cameron, a whip-smart grad student from Massachusetts with bright eyes and a cute undercut—who hates everything Texas. But Texas is in Emmy’s blood. Can she build a future with someone who can’t accept the things that make Emmy who she is?

Steve Quinn has just been offered his dream job as head coach of the struggling ‘Stangs. The board feels he has what it takes to win them a state championship for the first time—but the board’s CEO tells him he shouldn’t accept the position if he’s got any skeletons in his closet. Steve is still wrestling with Emmy’s coming out: he knows he didn’t handle it well, but he just can’t reconcile it with his faith and head coach is everything he’s ever wanted. How can God ask him to choose between his dreams and his own daughter?

This lush, gorgeously written debut is a love letter to the places we call home and asks how we grapple with a complicated love for people and places that might not love us back—at least, not for who we really are. The Golden Season is a powerful examination of faith, queerness and the deep-seated bonds of family, and heralds the arrival of a striking new voice in fiction.