December 17th, 2012

andrew potter

The Boy I Love (The Boy I Love Trilogy) by Marion Husband

If not for the extensive reading I did in the past few years about the WWI was poets and their close relationship with each other, sometime bordering and merging into love, I would have probably considered this as only a good piece of fiction. But I do know about Siegfried Sassoon, and his love for Wilfred Owen, tragically ended with Owen’s death in 1918; his close relationship with Robert Graves, maybe more friendship then love; and his second attempt at happiness Stephen Tennant, that maybe pushed him to marry Hester Gatty and finally having a family, like he had always desired.

I can see the Paul of The Boy I love in Siegfried Sassoon, like probably I can see Adam in Robert Graves, and why not Patrick in Wilfred Owen (with a different ending); there is also Margot in Hester Gatty. Of course the inter-relationships are different, like different are their outcomes. And truth be told, I don’t like so much Paul, there is who sees courage in his decisions, but the only thing I can see is the broken hearts he is leaving behind. Already from the beginning, when he is describing the intense desire he has to be with Adam, and his desire is genuine, I can see that he is already detaching himself from his real life, to build a fake one. On this regard, Patrick is maybe less refined than Paul, but he is more sincere and open in his approaches.

It’s true that all these men, even Adam, were completely and tragically changed by the war, and it’s also true that many of them didn’t have a choice; it was probably easier for the Stephen Tennant of the time, people from aristocracy, being dubbed as “eccentric”, and living as they liked, but for the many Pauls, Adams and Patricks it was not so simple.

Just recently I argued with another reader on what makes a romance; the other opinion was that to be a romance you need to have an uplifting happily ever after; my opinion is that you need to have a love story, and the happily ever after is a bonus, but not a rule. So yes, I consider The Boy I Love a wonderful romance, maybe even comparable to the likes of Maurice, but unlike Maurice, it has not an happily ever after, at least not for Paul. I’m not sure if the author is planning something different for Adam and Patrick, maybe at the time she wrote this novel, she wanted for the reader to build their own finale. Now there are two more books in the series, so it will be interesting to see what is waiting for these men.

I wanted for this novel to have an happily ever after, even if I don’t like so much Paul (but more for the output of his decisions that for him as a character), I was enthralled by his story, as I was by Patrick and Adam (Adam is probably my favorite), but I knew it was not in the star; in a way, it could have been worst, in the end, Paul and Patrick are back from war (and many didn’t make it), Adam is still alive, but what life is without the total happiness of being able to basking to the sun of your love? It’s like living in a perennial shadow, it’s not bad, but not even perfection.

Amazon: The Boy I Love (The Boy I Love Trilogy)
Amazon Kindle: The Boy I Love (The Boy I Love Trilogy)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Accent Press Ltd; New edition edition (July 12, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1908262729
ISBN-13: 978-1908262721

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

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