23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 1997
I bought this book because, being a gay teenager and having thought about suicide (and tried to do it, actually), I wanted to read about another boy who had gone through what I was going through. I found it remarkable when I read the reaction of Mary Griffith. When I started reading it I thought to myself: "Oh my God, that's me! This is my story." I couldn't put it down at all and I had never in my life cried while reading a book. This was my first time. I really think that everybody should read this book. It's actually more than a story; it's life. I really wish this book would be adopted by high schools for reading. It was incredible.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 1999
This is one of those books that should appear on the shelves of every high school, college, and church library in the country.
The statistics about gay teen suicide are frightening; this true story about the suicide of Bobby Griffiths puts a human face on this tragic and avoidable phenomenon. As an gay adult, I cried in anguish as I read Bobby's journal entries; they touched too close to home for comfort. As an adult human being I cried tears of compassion for Bobby's mother, who wanted nothing more than for her son to be pleasing in God's eyes, but because of her fundamentalist understanding of God was blinded to the fact that Bobby was already the person God created him to be. Perhaps this book will help other mothers and other sons (and fathers and daughters and sisters and brothers) see through the veil of misinformation which so destroys a young person's self esteem that he or she gives up on life itself. And perhaps it will awaken the church to the truly destructive consequences of its outdated understanding of the human person.
As a minister I have given away copies of this book to youths struggling with their sexual identity, to their parents, and to their own ministers. And I have heard back words of thanks, especially from the young people, who have begun to realize that they are God's creation, and that they are good and acceptable in God's sight precisely because they are God's creatures.
Thank you, Mary Griffiths, for having the courage to share this very important story. God bless you!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 1997
Out of the ashes of her gay son's tragic suicide, a mother finds her way to enlightenment. This is a powerful story. A deeply religious mother, with a limited education, is eventually able to reach a place of complete acceptance of her son as gay. We share the arduous three years she spent researching the bible, studying, learning, reading and asking questions. This very special lady ultimately emerges with a "reborn" faith in humanity.
This book is a "must read" for any parent, family member of a gay child.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 1998
The subject of teen suicide is a difficult one and one never easy to deal with. The suicide of a gay teen is even more of a problem because it is difficult to study without enough documented research. Inserting religious beliefs into the equation, along with family values, make for a very interesting story. The suicide of any teen or anyone is tragic. The initial teachings/actions of Mary Griffith make for difficult reading for a gay Christian; however, her ultimate acceptance of her son (and herself) in a way make this book somewhat validating. After the tradgedy, she does begin to review her thinking, but the point is, she is referencing it with the same scripture that she had been reading all along. After her son's death, there was a time where she seemed to act in a way that was against her families wishes and yet she was doing it just for that reason (part of her family.) "Prayers for Bobby" blends many common problems/themes together of being gay or having a gay son in a "straight" world, and yet, it is candidly honest and intelligent. My main praise for the book is this: It blends many difficult themes and reveals enough of each to educate the reader. It is important not to forget the difficulty of the subject matter when reading this book. It doesn't give answers or attempt to sway the reader into believing one thing or another, it only speaks.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 1999
I picked this book up by chance and was immediately drawn in to Bobby's story and was able to identify with his torment. I was also inspired at the changes Bobby's mother endured as she grieved the loss of her son. This book is a must-read for anyone who is gay or knows someone who is gay, especially for someone who is struggling with religious views of homosexuality. It is a very sad time when even our churches present a view of homosexuality that offers a gay youth a choice of either facing the condemnation of others or committing suicide.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 1997
This is the story of a remarkable woman's struggle to
accept her gay son and his suicide. She is a role model
for us all and through this book, she is now a friend for
many who are engaged in their own struggle to accept
themselves as gay in this horribly homophobic society.The
author gives us the power to feel her pain, to experience
her growth, to live her liberation. One place he muses...
will it take a figurative land mine in each case to make
other people change. I was very moved by her comments on the
church..."I have a certain amount of guilt, but the church
doesn't seem to have any." And, "We are the guardian angels.
We have the power." And, "Once my beliefs were my reality;
now my reality forms my belief." This book shows us the
deadly sins of the church and allow us to share in a woman's
journey to find a truth and a faith that gave her life real
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 1998
As a gay male who's life partner was raised by deeply religious parents, Bobby's story hit very close to home. Though my life partner survived, the scars run deep. This novel so vividly points out the difference between hardcore religion and true spirituality. It has further proven to me that the Bible is a book of MAN'S "interpretation" of God's words. I believe Bobby has moved on to a peaceful existence because his mother believes that as well. What a triumphant story of one woman's struggle to realize that God is LOVE; that God is not rules, rituals or punishment. Thank you, Mary, for following your heart!
I applaud Bobby's mother for all her efforts on behalf of gays and lesbians who still face unrelenting prejudice and ignorance sadly disguised as "religion" and "spirituality". This book reaffirms the power of the soul and the beauty that results from truly listening and opening up to the meaning of love. It's sad that Mary didn't realize it while Bobby was still alive, but his spirit lives on in a wonderfully rendered memoir that hopefully is saving countless other Bobbys even as I write this.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2013
I gave this a 5*.
Easy read and anybody would be able to read.
Based on a True Story - My heart went to Bobby, his mother and the family.
As a gay man myself, I never endured what Booby experienced.
If only I could rap my arms around Bobby and tell him that everything would be ok.
Also it happened back in the 60's/70's and things were a little harder then - compared to today.
I would recommend this book to EVERY Mother and Father, even if they do not have a gay child.
Also the church could do with a copy - Bottom line is that it was religion that drove Bobby to his death, because is mother believed everything word for word.
(we must remember that the Bible is open to interpretation, and it was written in a language that is different to what we know as today) (plus it was written in Hebrew I believe, and it was a normal human being translated it to English)
ie, years ago - people would say "its a gay day" which means joyful.
the word "gay" today means homosexual.
do you catch my drift?
back to the book :-)
its truly inspirational, eye opener, and worth a read. There are alot of people in the world who are gay and too afraid to come out of the closet because of numerous reasons, religion, families for example.
The world need to wake and face the fact that being gay isnt an illness and that it is normal.
The book also explains the death rates of homosexual people, which is shocking!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read this book!!!!!!!!!!! you will not be disappointed!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2009
A truly heart-breaking story, the moral of which could not be clearer. Attempting to separate young (or older) gay people from their natural sexuality and to bully them (physically, morally or otherwise) into "changing" their orientation amounts to psychological, emotional and spiritual abuse, the consequences of which can be catastrophic. Those who do it don't intend to abuse or even realise that they are doing so, but what they are doing remains abuse for all that, and no amount of quoting from the Bible can excuse it.
If you are a parent and find it difficult to accept your gay son's or daughter's sexuality, you should read "Prayers for Bobby"; it may help you to avoid the kind of terrible tragedy that Mary Griffith and her family went through. She learnt her lesson too late, but this book may help to ensure that you won't.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2012
The book tells a true and very involving story.
It promote tolerance and acceptance of people as they are, by telling a case of the consequences for a young gay persons life of Christian fundamentalism based condemnation.
A warning: You can't read this book and remain untouched.