elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Rover by Mel Spenser

Rover is an apparently perfect love story with an unexpected turn, and truth be told, the turn does good to the story itself since otherwise it would have been too perfect.

Patrick is mourning the loss of his lover Douglas; it's more than a year that Douglas is dead in a car accident but Patrick has not yet got over it. He is still living in the city where Douglas wanted to live, far from Patrick's relatives; he sold their home but he has still the expensive car Douglas bought for him and the cabin where they spent almost all their holidays. Patrick is not doing anything to forget and if not for a nightdream during which Douglas tells him to move one, he would have continued like that. All right, now he had decided to move back to Houston where is family is, but, truth be told, it's not exactly his decision, it's once again Douglas' decision that Patrick blindly follows.

In Houston he meets Sean, a 26 years old boy who is still living as a college student while trying to end his degree. Sean is the typical South Californian boy, all surf and tan, but he had a bad experience in the past. His family sent him to live with a gay uncle and his partner, hoping they would had been a good example for him. And so it was, and now Sean is still again on the right path, but he lost some years; that is basically the reason why, even if between Sean and Patrick there are only eight years of difference, it seems much more. Sean is still trying to decide what he wants to do in his life, and instead Patrick feels as he saw too much and now he wants to be quiet and comfortable, maybe yes, still mourning his lover.

Despite being younger and evidently the lesser "steady", not in a financial way than in expectation for life, Sean takes the lead of the relationship: he asks Patrick out, he initiates the first sexual encounter, he is always the one to suggest things. True, Patrick is ready and eager to follow, but I believe that is the wrong approach with him. Little by little we start to discover a different side of Patrick, and also a different point of view on his relationship for Douglas. Douglas himself, the perfect dead lover, was really not so perfect, and even if he was completely different from Sean, the same like him he was the leader in their relationship.

Here is the turn of the story: Patrick tends to lie down with his partner, he tends to blend on the background letting them shy. Everything can be perfect if you are a rising star, if the light you emanates is strong enough to overwhelm the lack of sparks from Patrick's side. And maybe, if you fall in a comfortable routine, you can even continue like that for forever. But Sean is wise enough, despite the age, to understand that like that, Patrick is slowly dying inside; Patrick never talks about his interests and he is so used to be all alone with himself, that he also stopped to ask for other people's ones. What the reader at the beginning thought to be a wonderful and nice love story, is little by little shattered by the lack of communion: Patrick and Sean are perfect in bed, but out of it, what do they have? Patrick doesn't know almost anything of Sean, and Sean, so wrap inside his trouble, and yes, maybe even a bit selfish, that selfishness given by the young age, realizes that also him knows very little of the real Patrick.

It was really interesting to see how the author first built an ordinary and nice love story, and then destroyed it in a bit, like an house of cards that was built from the start upon unsteady fundamentals. But don't worry, this is, after all, a romance...


Amazon: Rover

Amazon Kindle: Rover

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: mel spenser, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: college, theme: may december

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