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Finding Deaglan by George Seaton

Even if the book starts and ends with Tom and Stephen, I found that this is really a “shared” novel, shared by the many descendents of some old money Denver families, among which we distinguish Merriweather, Marty and Elizabeth. Marty and Elizabeth, being a lesbian couple, and having a really important role in the story, makes this really a LGBT novel.

More than a romance, Finding Deaglan is a gothic novel. It’s strange since usually Colorado, Denver, or the ancient Native American legends are not the stuff of gothic novels, but that is the feeling this novel left me, and I think the author wanted to pay an homage to those novel naming the old family home of Stephen, Gaylord. Gaylord was the title of the main character of Gaywick, which is believed to be the first gay gothic romance, by Vincent Virga.

Stephen, Merriweather, Marty, and all the others, are the descendents of men who did great wrong to the Native Americans and above all to their sacred wolves. One of them in particular was a mystical animal, with great power, and the removing of its earthly body (and that of his pack) was not enough to defeat its power. Wolf is still searching vengeance, and the vengeance has to be taken upon these descendants, even if they are innocents, even when they are still babies, like Deaglan, the baby that Marty and Elizabeth finds on a lake shore, a little, wonderful, intelligent baby. If you think, like me, that is cruel, you have also to consider that Mother Nature is cruel too. I think there is an hidden message here, that if we think that we can do everything to Mother Nature and that she will not be harsh with us since we are her sons, then we are sorely mistaking. Everything we do of bad against the earth, the earth will slash back to use double, in the end.

I had really great difficult to accept the sad fate that was falling upon Stephen and Tom, or Marty, Elizabeth and Deaglan, since they seemed not guilty of the same sins of their ancestors. Stephen and Tom are young and kind, with Oscar, their dog, they have everything that can be reconduct to an ordinary family (and Oscar, being a dog, put them in that share of population believing that also animals have soul); Marty and Elizabeth instead are middle age, again a more than ordinary couple, and Deaglan is their chance to add to that family a child. Both these couples don’t deserve the vengeance of Wolf, but that is, they will suffer it.

Finding Deaglan is very long, like the other book by George Seaton I read, Big Diehl. Apparently George Seaton shares yet another thing in common with those old fashioned novels, the number of pages. But actually for this novel it’s the right length, since, as I said, this is not only the story of two men, Stephen and Tom, but that of many, many characters. All of them would be probably worthy of more words, but in the end, if I have to do my pick, surprisingly enough, my choice would be Marty and Elizabeth, and the beautiful, big eyed Deaglan.


Amazon: Finding Deaglan
Amazon Kindle: Finding Deaglan
Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202976
ISBN-13: 978-1608202973

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


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
Incidental note...
With regard to your allusion to Vincent Virga's "Gaywyck," it's interesting to note (something that never crossed my mind when writing "Finding Deaglan") that not only do the two novels share a "Gaylord" reference, but "Gaywyck" provides a Julian Denvers with whom Donough Gaylord lives. "Finding Deaglan," of course, takes place mostly in Denver, while the old "haunted" house resides on Gaylord Street. The allusion is, however, deceptive. There is, in fact, a "Gaylord" Street in Denver, named after a quite notorious gambler and otherwise unsavory character in Denver's early (circa 1870s-'80s)history, Edwin Gaylord. And Gaylord Street is only several blocks away from Cheesman Park where Stephen's and Tom's condo resides. After reviewing "Gaywyck"--which I read probably when it was published, 1980, I, too, was struck by the coincidental references that both novels share. Denver-Julian Denvers; Donough Gaylord-Gaylord Street. But, as I noted, this is surely incidental data that probably interests no one except me.

Once again, thank you for the review.

George Seaton
Jul. 4th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Incidental note...
That I didn't know (about the real existence of Gaylord Street); so it's pure coincidence, but what a strange coincidence... almost scaring!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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