elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Probation by Tom Mendicino

Andy is a man who did a mistake, and being discovered in a public toilet having sex with another man is not that mistake; the novel is not easy, but helped also by Andy’s therapy with Matt, an “original” catholic priest, the reader has the chance to dig into Andy’s past and memories, and I think that basically Andy was trying to prove to his father that he could be better than what the man was expecting. Marrying Alice, a woman that is more a friend than a lover, was only another step into that path Andy was forcing himself to follow. Alice is really a good character and above all a good friend; when their marriage crashed down, she is not anger, not even wounded, by Andy’s betrayal, she is more worried for him, for his well-being, and she will be the one, in the end, to give to Andy that approval he was so desperately searching.

Andy is desperately in searching of approval, the search is something always present in his life; first his father, than his wife, than his mother and in the end also from Matt. Matt is not only a catholic priest, he is also Andy’s therapist; a relationship between them is impossible, and sincerely I have never felt any interest in Matt if not that of a good doctor towards his patient. But Andy builds in his mind a love story, an unrequited love that, if not for the doctor/patient relationship, if not for the chastity’s vote of Matt, if not for a lot of other reason, it would have been wonderful… yes, it would have been wonderful since it was not possible. Andy needs to have target in his life that he is unable to reach, I think since, if he reached them in the end, he could realize they were not what he really wanted. It’s the behaviour of someone who is scared to live, and Matt helped him to understand the search for true love was probably something that was able to help Andy in his recovery.

I need to be true to Matt, also I was hoping for him to be gay, and more than once I hoped the time for him to confess his love to Andy was finally arrived. But no, even if Matt is gay, he was faithful to his mission, and for mission I mean that of doctor. Why am I not excluding the chance Matt is gay? Since I found quite strange for a catholic priest to not condemn Andy; true he has never said to Andy, go out and find a male lover, but he has also never insinuated the opposite. For Matt was more important that Andy was able to build a solid and long-term relationship, the gender of the partner was not an issue. That was a surprise, and I’m true, when at first Matt was introduced as a catholic priest, I turned up my nose at the idea.

Probation is not a light tale, but it’s not even dark and sad as I was expecting. The light note at the end makes it worthy from a romantic point of view, and most of the supporting character, Alice, Matt, were unexpectedly good and positive, again, a nice surprise.

Amazon: Probation
Amazon Kindle: Probation
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758238789
ISBN-13: 978-0758238788

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: tom mendicino, genre: contemporary, length: novel

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