elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

A to Z by Marie Sexton

A to Z, the title of the book, has different meanings. It’s the name of the video rental shop Zach owns in Arvada, Colorado, a place that, more or less, stays in the middle between a little town and a medium size city. There is still the chance for a small shop like A to Z video rental to survive, it’s still possible for Zach to live with few, but it’s not for sure the place for having a successful life. And in fact, Zach came to Arvada with his former boyfriend soon after college, and when the boyfriend left him to, maybe, find that success somewhere else, Zach instead was stuck in the place by his lack of initiative. Zach is not a bad guy but he is not a leader; he is not even aware of his good side, he is handsome and nice, and instead he considers himself “average”. Zach is someone who needs a shock to realize things, or at least for someone to tell him with simple and clear words how the things are. Now don’t get me wrong, Zach is not dumb, but he is a little bit clueless.

A to Z is also the way the author decided to set the pace of the novel: the first point of view shift from Z (Zach) to A (Angelo) and way back. Angelo is the slightly younger man who comes to work for Zach at the same moment when Zach is starting a relationship with Tom. Actually Angelo was trying to find a way to make Zach take notice of him, but as I said, Zach is not good in subtle games, and Tom instead went directly to the first base. Angelo becomes so not only Zach’s employee, but also his friend, being there to comfort him when Tom unveils to be the wrong man. It’s strange, both for Zach than Angelo it’s a first point of view, but when it’s Angelo’s time to speak, the words come to the reader in a sharper way, raw, like Angelo’s soul is bared to the reader and instead Zach is more subdued. This is right for the characters, Angelo is a foster kid, he has always had to take care of himself, he was wounded and scared, but he managed to survive; Zach instead was always sheltered by his parents, his boyfriend, even by his former employer, who upon retiring left his shop to Zach. Zach has more or less never fought for something and instead Angelo has always fought for everything.

A to Z is also the process Angelo and Zach took in their relationship: first Zach had to come to the realization that it was not Tom the right man for him but Angelo, and so Zach had to move towards Angelo and a relationship with him, and then Angelo had to understand that a relationship is something that can last, that being abandoned as a kid doesn’t mean that he will be always abandoned now, and so Angelo has to move towards Zach and a live together.

Where Promises, the previous book by Marie Sexton was good, above all for who is interested in a Gay for You themed novel, A to Z is for sure on a higher level. It’s still a very moving novel, founded almost all on two characters and their relationship, and it has a simple and quite feeling, like an homemade cake, it’s a comfort read, and for me this is a great compliment, not at all a complaint.


Amazon: A to Z

Amazon Kindle: A to Z

1) Promises: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/937139.html
2) A to Z

Reading List:

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

Cover Art by Anne Cain
Tags: author: marie sexton, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review

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