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Detours by Jeffrey Ricker

I had the wrong idea this was an almost comedy type of romance, and that is the spirit I started reading it, to then, almost immediately, realizing there was something deeper, and even if Joel, the main character and narrating voice is a mix of bittersweet and spicy, I tend to classify the novel more on the discovery/journey life genre other than romance. Truth be told, and that is also where the major points lie for me, I felt like the real relationship was that between Joel and his dog Dudley, more than that between his current lover Philip, temporary lover Lincoln and past lover Matt… and no, don’t get the wrong idea, Joel is not “easy”… well, not soo easy at least.

Getting things on perspective: Joel is having a relaxing two weeks in London, middle of the second week, he meets Philip. Love at first sight, or better, good sex at first sight, they spent the last 4 days together, practically without leaving the bedroom. Then Joel is back home and to the awful news that his mother died, and Joel is not ready, and maybe that is the reason why, he continues to see, and talk, with his mother’s ghost, like she is the last linking chain to his past, a past Joel is not ready to letting go. Back in the US, Joel also has a return of flame with Matt, his former boyfriend, a man that is a positive character in the novel; not like instead Lincoln, an old acquaintance of Joel that basically invites himself over for the road travel Joel needs to take from Maine to San Francisco. And the self-invite includes also Joel’s bed. In the meantime, Philip from UK is trying to reconnect with Joel as well… and Joel’s main trouble is not choosing among Matt, Lincoln or Philip, or choosing what to do now that he suddenly quit his job, or where to live since he basically is homeless… his main thought is what to do with his ten years old dog Dudley, who sincerely seems to be way more independent than Joel!

I quite enjoyed this novel even if it had imperfect characters. Actually the one who really needed to grow up was Joel, since both Matt and Philip were positive figures, and good example, and above all, supporting friends and lovers to Joel. They didn’t push but let Joel arrive to his own decisions… even if Joel was painfully slow.

Like Philip tells Joel, he needs to realize there is no time like today, and it’s not good to delay to tomorrow because you are never sure if tomorrow will arrive. Joel is seeing his mother’s ghost not since he has something to conclude with her, but since his mother represents his past life, his previous self, something/someone he has to learn that is gone, he needs to look ahead and not behind.

Amazon: Detours
Amazon Kindle: Detours
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602825777
ISBN-13: 978-1602825772

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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