Alfred and Byron were the perfect couple, even if at first nobody would have bet on them: Alfred not only was a homosexual in the closet, but he was also 22 years older than Byron and way more rich. Thirty years ago, people would have bet that Byron was a gold digger and that he would have leaved Alfred at first chance with all the money he could grab. But Alfred and Byron were true soul mates and they set as example for both their nephews, Alex of Alfred and Paul of Byron. Alex and Paul, in a way, are the modern Alfred and Byron: Paul so proud and honest, all integrity and dignity, stubbornly refusing any help from his uncles and trying to find his way in life alone, but deep inside dreaming of a long term relationship as his uncles have; Alex disputed between his loving uncles, his unloving grandparents and his estranged father, and in the end having no one while he was growing up. Now Alex is apparently the exact replica of his uncaring father, living as a parasite with the money his uncle is foraging him.
First scene we have with Alex is quite hard, even if indeed Alex had a one night stand with a man who has only proven to be more interested in Alex’s name and money than in him as a man, on the other hand Alex treats the young boy in a so cold manner that made me almost feel pain for that boy, wondering what was of him… I had this imagine of him under a bridge, cold and starving. And when Alex meets Paul for the first time, he is so self-centered and maybe even jealous of his uncle love (I don’t think it’s a money issue), that he is ready to think the worst of him; actually I think that Alex is projecting his guilt on Paul, he fears people think of him only interested in his uncle Alfred’s money, and so he is the first to accuse Paul of that crime.
Now Paul… he is so perfect to be almost too much. As often when the character is too perfect, he is in danger of not being “nice”. Paul’s borders on sainthood, and so he risks to be annoying. But the author chooses a “naughty” way to make him fall from the pedestal, describing a Paul who during sex becomes bossy and masterful, reversing the tables: Alex is now the prey of Paul, in bed there is not difference in social status or amount of money, and neither the physical differences bound them to a strict role, Alex is taller and stronger, but nevertheless, Paul is the one in command.
Now the paranormal side of the story; first it’s the consequence of one of the most romantic and most sad part of the book, the last supplication of Alfred on his lover’s coffin to not be left alone; Alfred was the older of the two, way older indeed, and he knows that he has no much to wait for reuniting with his lover in the alterlife, and so he asks Byron to “wait” for him; what Byron understands is to not going away without him, and he “remains” around, a presence that has never the chance to really manifest, but that is like a guardian angel on all the men he loved in life, Alfred, Paul and Alex. He is like that, a gentle presence, something you can believe exist but if you don’t want, well the story is realistic all the same; Byron’s ghost doesn’t do anything of paranormal, if not giving a kind comfort to the ones he loves.
Amazon Kindle: The Wish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 2 edition (July 19, 2012)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott