Set in Northern Ireland in the mid 1960s A Son Called Gabriel tells the story of a young Catholic boy's coming if age. Gabriel, a sensitive boy, is different from the rest of his working class family and his peers. He is bullied at school, and otherwise taken advantage of. The story tells of his confused feelings with girls and boys; his abortive attempts with girls; and his secret gropings with other boys which bringing him temporary pleasure but leave him guilt ridden. He has a champion, his uncle Father Brendan, a man who is surrounded by a certain mystery, the details of which we eventually learn. A Son Called Gabriel is a tender and moving story, occasionally funny, and well worth reading.