It’s also a story about the death of illusion, or better the reaching of a point where you need to really stop and decide what it will be of your life. It’s about Franky and Alek, but also Wyatt, Nevin and Holly, and all those characters wandering around them. Franky is presented as a bookish type, someone who befriended the same bookish boy Alek when they were teenagers; but today Franky is a salesman, something that is quite far from the career you would expect by someone loving literature. Then you learn that Franky’s girlfriend, Geena, is also Franky’s boss, and so maybe, you think, she is the one who tried to shape Franky to her own imagine of a perfect boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that, apparently, it’s quite clear that Franky is gay, or at least bisexual. For fear or weakness, Franky has never acknowledge his feelings for Alek, or Alek’s feelings for him, and he has opted to basically cut his bond with his best friend.
But now the fabulous five, Wyatt, Holly, Nevin, Alek and Franky decided to go on a weekend trip together, living at home wives, parents, children, boyfriends and all. They want to have yet again a weekend for them, a time when they can be again the same as they was, free and innocent. Only that it’s not so simple, even if they have left at home the evident “troubles”, the more dangerous are there with them, ready to explode. Alek is gay and he is tired, for various reason, to stay in the closet; if Alek comes out it’s obvious that Franky is involved: until his best friend/possible lover is in the closet, Franky can ignore his own feelings, but if Alek decides to be open, and to have a boyfriend, then Franky cannot allow it to be someone else than him.
Even if Franky and Alek took the major part of the novel, another interesting evolution is the one Wyatt is going through; Wyatt stubbornly denies his brother his gay since, admitting it is like admitting his own past experience of having being molested. Wyatt sees being gay as being a pervert, and of course he cannot accept that of his own brother; if, and only if, he is ready to admit his brother is gay, than it’s for sure some psychological illness, something that he has to be cured for.
Good stories also for Holly and Nevin, but I would like to highlight the one of Eli and Vlad, they feel so good and real that I’m pretty sure the author had a story for them, something she has already written or maybe is in the phase to plan out. If not, I strongly suggest her to do so.
Amazon: Franky Gets Real
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 20, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott