It’s not a spoiler if I say that Joe is dead. Even if he is confused, that is one of the things he himself understand. Like the fact that he is “bonded” with the Stranger, a blue-eyed man who is encouraging him in his journey. But Joe doesn’t remember his past life, as he doesn’t remember how he died, and so he needs to “relive” it, till the last moment, to be able to reach Stranger in Paradise.
As Dante’s journey with Virgilio, Joe is accompanied by Baker, a player and a singer, someone who was there a long time, and has seen many things. Joe, who has always known he is gay, starts to remember his life from the moment he was a little kid, and on the most important time of his life there was always a special person near him, Louis, Lou, at first a blue-eyed little kid but then an handsome man, the man Joe was destined to love. But before he was able to reach that love, Joe had to go through many challenges, love and loose people, understand what was important in his life. It was good and bad, but you cannot have the good without the bad. Joe loved other boys and men, or at least he thought he was loving them, but I think he was only preparing himself to the time when he was ready for Lou. It was a long and pained quest, but the outcome was an happily ever after… but then, why Joe is dead? Why he is so sad? And why he is so young?
As a reflection of his life quest to obtain Lou’s love, Joe is undergoing another quest, but this time the happily ever after will be forever, and nothing, not even death, would be able to ruin it.
For sure this is not an happy and light tale, I feel a lot of pain and sadness, in the tale but also in the author, but at the same time, I feel also hope, hope that despite everything, there will be always an happily ever after for everyone, just waiting behind the corner, not matter how good or bad you were in this life, Heaven or its equivalent doesn’t discriminate, it’s for everyone.
Amazon: Woke Up in a Strange Place
Amazon Kindle: Woke Up in a Strange Place
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 25, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott
Cover Art by Paul Richmond