Harold and Jacob were two lover in the ’60. The time was not good for them to be in love, Harold had ambition that were not reconcilable with a gay lover, and so he broke up with Jacob. That was the huge mistake of his life, a mistake that now, 40 years later, is still regretting, even more after reading of Jacob’s death to AIDS years before. Then a man, a doctor, someone who tells him was Jacob’s friend, comes with an offer: if Harold is willing to give up all his money to the doctor, he will transfer Harold’s consciousness into the body of a young man, Jesse, a boy that is in vegetative coma and that has no chance to awaken. Harold is not killing Jesse, Jesse is already dead, Harold is only using his body, a little like if he was having a 100% transplant of all his organs other that the consciousness.
This is Harold’s second chance, and when he awakens in Jesse’s body, he discovers the boy was best friend with Philip, Jacob’s nephew and his spitting image. Not only that Philip is gay as it was his uncle, and he is in love with Jesse. Harold understands that is really his second chance and that this time he has all the right aces to be a good man and do the right thing, something he was not willing to do before.
It’s strange, but I was sad for Jesse; true, Harold is making “good use” of his body, and he is behaving in a right way, but Jesse, from what we learn, was really a good boy, someone that had all the right to fully live and love. While I was glad that Harold had his second chance, at the same time I was regretting the same chance was not given to Jesse. Harold is an adult, and he is living his life like an adult would do in the body of a teenager; more or less he is taking all the right decisions since he knows the consequences, and Jesse will never have the chance to wrong and make it better through experience. But, all right, I think that is the concept of the novel, and what it makes it interesting.
Philip is another of the cute and pretty boy by Jeff Erno; on comparison to other similar character, Philip is more pretty, he is someone who could have been a leader on his own way, but the illness (he has cancer in remission) made him a more subdue character, someone Jesse, the stronger of the two, has always protected. Philip loves Jesse, and how he could not? His is a little hero worship, Philip has not really known anything different, for him Jesse is the best he can achieve… actually he is lucky that is really like that, Philip is one of those lucky persons who will meet and love their soul mates forever and only.
There is a little less sex, or better the story is less centred around sex, than other novel by Jeff Erno, but in any case these two young men are sexually active. What is probably nice is that Harold is respecting Philip (and Jesse’s age) and he is not immediately moving their relationship on a physical level, he gives time to both of them to adjust, exactly how it would be right to do if you had 18 years old (but that not always 18 years old do!)
Amazon: Second Chances
Amazon Kindle: Second Chances
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Camel Press (January 1, 2012)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott