Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 2, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Memory
Paul Nelson, a military veteran home from Korea, refuses to stand by and watch Kenneth Pittman, a young man he’s just met, get beat up by a group of teens. After a few chance encounters with Kenneth, Paul questions parts of his identity he’s been trying to suppress, and despite his struggles re-acclimating to civilian life and his personal fears, Paul finds the courage to ask Kenneth on a date. The two then begin a relationship.
But in the 1950s, cultural and societal norms threaten openly gay men. Paul and Kenneth can only see each other in secret, and Paul’s new boss, a former investigative journalist and proud bigot, has a habit of meddling in his employees' lives. After tragedy strikes close to home, the two men question whether their slice of happiness is worth the trouble or if safety is more important.
After vacationing together in Provincetown, a gay haven, to escape the chaos, they decide to stick it out, only to return to the consequences of being outed to everyone they know. Ultimately, Paul realizes the freedom he fought for should apply to them too, and he must bravely act in defiance of society’s expectations to be with the man he loves.
This story is slow and not overly dramatic. The flavor of the time, in the Korean-War-era home front, is well-conveyed. There are conflicts and joys, smoothly-told and believable. I wasn't pulled deep into the narrative, until the end. There the emotion made my throat catch as the arc of time, the changes through recent history, the suppressed lives and losses, were powerfully rendered.
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