elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Beatitude by Larry Closs

Beatitude is not a romance but this doesn’t mean is not a love story. It’s the story of two men, Harry and Jay, who become friends thanks to their common love for everything that is “Beat” but above all for Jack Kerouac. Harry is gay and still recovering from a troubled relationship with Matteo; it was an unrequited love, Matteo was fond of Harry but he was not in love with Harry. Despite this past bad experience, Harry seems bent to commit the same mistake with Jay, who has a girlfriend, Zahra. At the beginning I thought I was reading something in Jay, something that could lead to a different ending, but maybe Jay is bisexual and so hypothetically he can love both Harry or Zahra, but since Zahra was the first entering his heart, she is also the one who will detain sole ownership. And as strange as it sounds, I like Zahra, and I don’t mind that Jay is a good man and someone who is able to remain faithful to his decision. And even if Zahra maybe senses that something deeper than friendship is born between Harry and Jay, she will not try to part them, on the contrary she will be the one helping Jay understanding better Harry.

It’s a bittersweet story but not sad; sure, I remain with an open question, will be Harry able to find his soul mate, but maybe it’s a wrong question, since Harry indeed found him in Jay, it’s only that in their relationship, sex is not a necessary ingredient. But aside from that, they share everything else, and they will be also able to achieve most of their dream. By the way, I didn’t feel Harry as someone who is particularly linking sex and love, when he is specifically asked if he wants to have sex with Jay, he is the one to say no, but when the same person asks him if he is in love with Jay he says yes. So maybe, even my first sentence is wrong, this is a romance, only that is a slightly different type of romance I’m not used to. And probably it has to be considered this novel is set in 1995; now I’m not saying it’s old age, but in the end it’s more than 15 years ago and how many things have changed since then? Sure the path is still long but I think it was probably harder in 1995 to admit to someone you are gay than now.

The strange thing is that I would probably not label this novel as “gay” if asked; sure Harry is gay, and he recounts by memory his relationship with Matteo, but truly, his relationship with Jay was more of deep friendship than love. And as in all the really deep friendship, there was jealousy involved, jealousy that you can do something important with someone else, jealousy of the time your best friend is spending with someone else, even if that someone else is a lover or a relative. Jealousy of everyone who came before you and jealousy of everyone who could replace you as “best friend”. Sometime friends are even more demanding than partner, and more sensitive.

Despite the theme, Beatitude is very easy to read, and you arrive to the end with a feeling you would have not minded more.

Amazon: Beatitude
Amazon Kindle: Beatitude
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Rebel Satori Press (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608640299
ISBN-13: 978-1608640294

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: larry closs, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review

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