"This first novel is a glorious tour de force. Never have I read a more compelling and sympathetic portrayal from within the mind of the mentally challenged ... I did not come up for breath as the story rolled along, every beat strong and right."
– Historical Novels Review
"Readers will think of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. Just as each of these classic American novels has a distinctive flair – earnestly rough-hewn, ironically colloquial, sardonically precise – Billy Boy has its own style, emphatically sensuous . . . . In literary heaven, Flahive's Billy Laird may sit at the table with Benjy Compson from William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and Lennie Small from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men."
– The Quoddy Times
"Flahive's directive skill of rendering conversation throughout her book is remarkable. We are there in the space with Elijah and Billy, with Harry, with the troops under fire in the reality of what it now means, their mustering up for a dangerous rarified cause. . . . Flahive is surely one to be studied for her craftsmanship, her extraordinary interweaving of researched history and imaginitive realism. We see war and its sinister turnings, and the moments of unexpected enlightenment through an inner connection."
– Maine Sunday Telegram