Moon in Full: A Modern Day Coming-of-Age Story

Islandport. Jun. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781952143359. pap. $18.95. MEMOIR
Chann, a politician and advocate for Asian and LGBTQIA+ rights, has written a powerful and moving memoir about growing up and learning to embrace his gay identity. The son of a Cambodian refugee, his early years were fraught with chaos due to his mother’s abusive relationships with men and an ever-intensifying loss of his Cambodian identity. Stuck in the foster care system, he lived in a series of homes before being adopted by a white, conservative Christian couple in rural Maine. Struggling with his sense of belonging as an Asian boy in a majority white environment was challenging enough, but, when he realized that he was gay, he made the painful decision to live in the closet. Chann’s memoir is at its strongest when he focuses on his burgeoning sexuality, his memories of his extended Cambodian family, and as he embraces his true self during his college years.
VERDICT Chann’s enriching memoir speaks to those who feel they are still growing up and learning to overcome trauma. Though the narrative slows down when the author focuses on the psychology of Christian conservatism, the story he tells is an important one.
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