Jeffrey Luscombe 

"One of LGBT fictions's brightest new stars." 

Huffington Post

“Tightly written and keenly observed, this is an impressive debut from a writer we’re sure to hear more from.”

Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints

To Refrain From Embracing

An engrossing novel from start to finish."

- Hamilton City Magazine

"A smartly indelicate fiction exploring every aspect of a boy's weird trauma...To Refrain from Embracing is a pensive and provocative novel... Luscombe keeps piquing our curiosity... and weaves an elaborately detailed world." 

- Independent Book Review

From the backdrop of an impoverished steel-working community in working-class Hamilton, Ontario, in the 1970s, To Refrain From Embracingfollows the trials facing a small family after an attempted suicide leaves veteran Ted checked into a psychiatric hospital. 

Gloria, his wife, struggles with family finances and growing concern for the well-being of their young son while also rediscovering her Indigenous identity through encounters with a handsome steelworker. Meanwhile, her son, Josh, struggles with his nascent sexuality, lack of acceptance from his peers, and fears about his father's mental health lead which him into a friendship with a troubled neighbourhood teen. 

Jeffrey Luscombe's new novel is a naturalistic and darkly comic tale of a family squeezed by personal and societal precepts of class, race, and sexuality.


Cover and interior design by Ryan Vance