Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment. With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and familial abuse, Jonathan and Kurl must struggle to overcome their conflicts and hold onto their relationship, and each other.
We Contain Multitudes is the sort of novel that has readers falling in love with their characters, becoming so invested in their stories and conflicts that it's impossible to put the book down. The literary languages and references throughout (particularly to Walt Whitman) bring to mind award-winning novels such as I'll Give You the Sun, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and more.
With a growing appreciation for LGBTQ+ characters and stories, and such a compelling novel with engaging characters and stunning language, We Contain Multitudes has the potential to be a commercial and literary success.
Sarah Henstra is a professor of English at Ryerson University. Sarah is the author of the YA novel Mad Miss Mimic and the adult novel The Red Word. Sarah lives in Ontario, Canada.