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The suburbs of Toronto in the early 1960s were safe, comfortable, and convenient. For example, in Islington - home to sixteen year-old Neil Bennett - one can easily access "downtown" by way of a bus that connects with streetcars at the Jane Loop. The suburbs made few demands on their residents. Beneath the polite conversations, where words like clean, nice, neat, and order were heard frequently, Neil experiences disturbing undercurrents. His father tortures him psychologically, with tricks and jokes that belie a sadistic nature. And Neil himself finds that he is attracted, not to girls, but to boys - specifically, the dreamboat who delivers the family's bread. As his attraction grows and is eventually acted upon, his world begins to open up: first with the visit of his aunt from Los Angeles, then during a two-week period, when his family escapes the summer humidity for the cooler climes of cottage country, and he's left alone in the house.
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