elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Gay Debut Novel (1° place): Yield by Lee Houck

Also Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction (2° place) and Best Characters Development (3° place)

It’s strange by I always try to understand why an author picked a title, and the coincidence is that this is exactly the first question the reader finds at the end of the novel, in the discussion questions session. What is being yielded to, or what is yielding? My first answer is Simon.

Simon is an hustler, so the common answer is probably that he is yielding his body, but actually I think that he is NOT yielding his soul, or at least he is trying not to. Only with Aiden, one of his customers, he will start to yield, maybe since he had a crush on Aiden before he started to be one of his customer, Simon wants Aiden in his life like someone to care for not like someone who is paying him to be cared for.

Yield is like short vignettes of the life of Simon, but also of Louis, Farmer and Jaron. Actually each chapter is short and almost all of them start and end, they are like flashback in Simon’s mind, flash of light in his day-to-day life. Simon is not the epitome of gay hustler of so many romances, there is little of romantic in Simon being an hustler, but on the other hand, he is not even self-complaining or self-destroying himself on the fact that he is an hustler. Simon doesn’t like to be one, but in any case he is trying to see it like any other job, only that, I think, he is not able to detach his body from his soul, and Simon is someone who cares too much, who says he doesn’t want his customer to talk of their private life, but he is the first to try to imagine who they are in their private life.

I found myself to be interested in Simon, to want for him to be happy, but I also cared a lot for Louis and Jaron. Like Simon, they appear to be the ones needed more caring, Farmer and Aiden appear to be stronger, but I actually they are simply more able to shelter themselves. No one of this circle of friends is really strong and they find their strength in the group, in being among people who care for them, and that is the reason why Louis searches shelter into Simon’s home, in the comfort of known things and arms.

I admit, I was a little scared for the fate of these guys, and for that reason sometime I didn’t want to go on with the novel, I was scared to find out what was happening to them. If you are like me, don’t worry, unexpectedly, but it’s a good unexpectedly, this novel has an almost romantic evolution, and I really really like the last scene, it’s not a perfect bow on top of Simon, he has probably still a lot of self-thinking and self-explaining to do, but he, and with him all his friends, are on the right path, and I’m sure they will be able to build to safe future all of them want.


Amazon: Yield
Amazon Kindle: Yield
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Kensington Books (August 31, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758242654
ISBN-13: 978-0758242655

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: lee houck, genre: contemporary, length: novel, rainbow awards 2011, review, theme: hustlers

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