Martin Dixon’s carefully-constructed, peaceful life is turned upside down when his super Christian eighteen-year-old nephew Carter shows up unexpectedly on his doorstep and announces he’s gay. Martin’s first impulse is to send him back to his parents. But when he discovers that Carter has been in a mental hospital to cure his gay-ness he realizes he’s stuck with the boy. Unfortunately, the two get on each other’s nerves, each driving the other to distraction. Independently, however, they each arrive at the same conclusion. The other would be much less annoying if he only had… a boyfriend.
BUY LINK: Wilde City Press
Review: Lynn, 5
Let me begin by saying I absolutely love Marshall Thornton. My first introduction to this author was reading Perils of Praline. I never laughed so hard in my life while reading a book. I then read everything else by him. His Boystown Series is outstanding, The Ghost Who Slept Here was also amazing. I highly recommend everyone to read Mr. Thornton’s stories, you will not be disappointed.
There comes a time when you read a book with an underlying message, a message that isn’t quite clear until after you finish reading and think about what you’ve just read. To me this was one of those books. What I loved the most was the way the author took situations that could’ve been heavy and full of angst, and incorporated humor and lightheartedness. Not to say there aren’t serious issues to contend with here, but the author delivers it minus the despair. At first I saw Martin, a nearly fifty year old man, as a sad, stuck-in-the-rut, cranky old man. Although he didn’t wanted to admit it, he wasn’t over the fifteen-year relationship that ended ten years ago. He hasn’t moved on and seemed bitter, at least to me. Enter Carter, a nephew he barely knows, showing up unannounced on his doorstep. Carter has escaped a facility his parents put him in to “cure the gay” out of him.
Now, let’s clear the air right now – this is Gay fiction, plain and simple. It’s a great story of two gay men dealing with life. The generation gap between the two makes it interesting to watch how they handle the situations they get themselves into. Now, for those of you thinking this is going to be a story about a family that sleeps together, stays together … yea no … get your mind out of the gutter. It isn’t that kind of book.
So now we have a cranky uncle and a misguided, misinformed nephew living under the same roof, both clueless on how to handle the other. Both are at a turning point in their lives. Things are about to get interesting.
The lack of communication between them is frustrating to say the least. Martin, in his own head most of the time, lets opportunities to talk to his nephew go by. Carter, knowing nothing but what his bigoted parents have told him about gay people, is running about like a kid in a candy shop. When he gets in too deep with the first person he meets, we as readers see the warning signs that this isn’t going to end well. It’s like a train wreck and we can’t stop it from happening.
My favorite scene in this story really tells us the gist of these two characters. Martin and Carter are meeting up for dinner, unbeknownst to the other, each one is bringing a perspective date for the other. Unfortunately, the “dates” who are oblivious to the fact they’re being set up, are just fine with who they came with. After the misunderstanding is over – and in behavior we’re used to from these two – words are exchanged and they both go off and sulk. And while the scene itself is hilarious, it’s also frustrating. It’s frustrating to see Carter and Martin not getting it, something has to give, and it does in an unexpected way.
To say life comes full circle for Martin is an understatement. I’m not going to give anything away here, but forgiveness plays a big part of it. I felt the events leading up to his decision had to be played out in order for Martin to get to this point in his life. I was definitely happy the author gave Martin a second chance at love.
As for Carter, well, Carter had to experience some bad mojo before he came to the realization that he doesn’t know all there is to know about life and being gay. He’s still a stubborn, selfish, teenager who will most likely continue to make stupid choices. But that’s okay, as long as he learns from them and doesn’t repeat those mistake. I feel our author is going to take very good care of him.
I believe the author gives the reader a very realistic look at life as seen through they eyes of character who’s “been there done that” and a character who still has a lot to learn. I loved that this story gave us some serious issues to deal with but has laughter and humor sprinkled throughout. This is a talented writer, folks.
I highly recommend this to everyone.