Furry Writers' Guild Forum

"Learning to Go" by Friday Donnelly

Title: Learning to Go
Author: Friday Donnelly
Published: 2015
Publisher: Jaffa Books

Friday Donnelly’s Learning to Go is a gay furry novel with themes of abuse, BDSM, and coming of age. At sixty-one thousand words it’s not a terribly long read, but it has enough depth to develop a good story without wearing out its welcome.

Right off the bat we’re introduced to the two main characters, the gay couple of Rufus, our tiger protagonist, and Victor, his lion boyfriend. It’s no spoiler to say that their relationship is strained. This gets us into the crux of the story, the two cats’ future together and possible marriage.

If you’ve ever been in a troubled relationship you’ll recognise their problematic on-again-off-again pattern right off the bat. Donnelly does a good job of portraying both characters and the rocky trials between them. It’s safe to say that for some readers this may start to hit a touch too close to home.

For a time it looks as though the two will be able to work things out, or at least come to something stable, but the turning point in the story happens when they two are on the break and Rufus hires a BDSM dom for a night. Everything explodes from there.

The single biggest problem I had with this book was on a purely technical level. It may just be my ereader, but there doesn’t appear to be any line breaks in the story to help indicate scene changes or the passage of time. That makes reading more difficult than it has to be and I hope it will be resolved in a second edition.

There are definitely some places where the dialogue is a touch stilted, Rufus’ constant references to wanting a “healthy relationship” feel a little too text-book to quite come off as real. I also would have liked some more fleshing out of the business the two of them work at since a fair portion of the story happens during working hours. These complaints are quite minor though.

Overall the book is well worth your time if you’re into character focused stories. There’s just enough sexual content for it to qualify as adult, but don’t expect any porn to be found here. Pick up the ebook for a few bucks, this story is a safe bet.

Purchasing from Jaffa Books was a straight forward enough process, though you’ll need to know whether you want it in epub (generic) or mobi (Kindle) format. Be aware there is also a delay of a few hours for your order to process as it appears everything is done by hand.

I was impressed that the epub file I received was attached to the email and had no encryption or DRM. For a tech like me it was much appreciated that I could imported it into any device I wanted.

Full disclosure, I am a friend of Donnelly’s and was likely first in line to buy the book when it was released.

Nice review!