Who Lies Inside by Timothy Ireland, deals with a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexual attraction to other men. Martin Conway comes from a typical English working-class family in which any manifestation of emotion meets with rental disapproval. Martin or “Jumbo”, is a rugby player, and a wimp, and an 18 year old sixth former. He becomes increasingly alienated from his parents and from his straight friends, and, despite his initial unwillingness to confront the ‘stranger’ inside him he eventually decides that the ‘stranger’, i.e. his gayness, must ‘step out into the light and be seen’, if he is to be truly happy.
The story ends on a positive note as Martin finds a lover and is prepared to face the hostility of the straight society which had been his prison for so long, having fought his own self-oppression.
I found the book most uplifting and I felt a great deal of empathy with Martin as his story made me recall some of my own experiences. I would especially recommend this book to younger readers. Tim Clarke, reviewer
Publication Information for Who Lies Inside by Timothy Ireland
(Please note that this review was first published in Gay Star, a copy of which is held in the Linenhall Library archives)