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TRAILER TRASH by MARIE SEXTON is available to purchase below

trailer trash 21st March


It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

* * * *

Trailer Trash

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.’

Set in 1986, in the time of home-made cassette tapes and the growing AIDS epidemic is a beautiful coming of age love story. A friends to lover’s story with an ugly and painful setting – violence, poverty, ignorance and judgement.

Trailer Trash had such a strong element of realness and was very character driven. Beautifully written with a melancholy yet hopeful tone of voice from two lads who came from very different sides of the socio economic divide. We remember the 80’s well and connected to so many parts of this story, little things like making a cassette tape for the one you loved with poignant songs on it that explained how you felt. We remembered when MTV was actually about the music. We read as our own memories bombarded us yet we stayed engrossed in the story of Cody and Nate in an environment so foreign yet so vividly drawn.

“Nothing good can live in this town. It all gets stomped to dust in the end.”

Nate arrives in Warren, Wyoming with his Dad after a family situation forces them to do so. It really was a heart-breaking story that brought us tears. What awaits Nate is quite a life-changing discovery in so many ways. Nate is at a crossroads in life, a life he just doesn’t know how to fit into.  Although at times Nate came across quite naïve and somewhat childish, his heart was big and he just wasn’t emotionally equipped to deal with what becomes his reality and the self-realisations he was facing in regards to his friendship with Cody.

‘Homo. Queer. Faggot. Pansy. I can’t be one of those things!’

Cody’s never had it easy and everything about him and his life broke us. He lives in ‘the hole’ the worst part of the trailer park with his Mum who really was quite an enigma until she came good. She really peeved us off through the majority of this story, however, we never really thought she had a bad heart and she proved us right when it mattered. Cody knows who he is and all this lad wants is to get out of the hole he lives in and be left alone. But does he? He’s so used to people letting him down or using him he likes to stay under the radar. That is until Nate moves into town.

‘It wasn’t that his mom didn’t try, but he suspected she’d learned long ago to do what he was doing now: killing everything inside. Locking away any dream of a real life was the only way to survive. There was no such thing as hope. There was just this moment, bleeding into the next, and into the next….’

Nate and Cody’s friendship was a bit fairy-tale like to begin with; the modern day prince and the pauper but it became so much more and it really did both break our hearts and make them soar equally. Being ‘different’ is never easy no matter how or why under any circumstance. Survival and happiness being unaffordable luxuries. Strength perseverance but ultimately the beauty of love can truly make the difference that lifts the human spirit in adversity.

“The only thing you’ve ever done is had the bad luck to be born to two lousy parents in a place that can’t accept you for who you are.”

 * * * *

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