Echo Magazine October 14, 2010 : Page 61
PREVIEWS & REVIEWS By Bob Lind BOOK REVIEWS between the covers Andy Klein is a young gay man in New York City Seasons of Change By Carolyn LeVine Topol (Dreamspinner Press, August 2010, $14.99 softcover) who is studying to be a rabbi. Estranged from his ortho-dox Jewish family (since he revealed his homosexuality and decided to favor the less-restrictive “conservative Jewish” sect), his world revolves around school and his boyfriend, Mitch, until a tragic accident causes Mitch’s death. Struggling to cope with the aid of Mitch’s mom, Claire, and two friends from school, Andy feels he has lost his only chance for love and happiness. Andy appreciates the help that Jake, a nurse in the trauma unit that cared for Mitch, has given him, even coming to Jake’s apartment to pay his respects during the traditional “Shiva” mourning period. They begin to meet regularly at a coffee shop, and it becomes clear that Jake’s interest in Andy is more than friendship. But In this 18th Century French historical romance novel, The Memoirs of Colonel Gerard Vreilhac By Anel Viz (Dreamspinner Press, May 2010, $16.99 softcover) we learn about Gerard, who as a boy worked as a servant in the house of a nobleman and his family. The noble-man’s son, Julien, becomes Gerard’s first lover. Julien goes into the army just about the same time as the start of the Revolution of 1789, while Gerard finds a job as a scribe and clerk for the new government. Gerard later joins Napoleon’s army, and eventually returns to Paris with the rank of colonel and gets an opportunity to go into banking. Meanwhile, Gerard has never really gotten over Julien, but managed to have three relatively long-term relationships with other men before (and after) marrying Andy still is not over Mitch and Jake has to walk a fine line between being patient support and making Andy realize that he can again find a loving relationship, hopefully with him. This is an outstanding, well-written story about love, loss and learning to love again. Regardless of your religious background (or lack thereof), you’ll be able to relate to the unique position that Mitch’s death puts Andy in, wondering if “God’s will” was really the con-trolling factor and, if so, what the tragedy was meant to convey. With subtle situations and considerable skill, the author paints a beautiful canvas of emotions that will engage and inspire the reader. There’s some erotic content that supports the storyline. It’s one of my favor-ites of the year. a female friend for the sake of appearances. The author accomplishes the nearly impossible task of telling the story of an individual’s romances in the context of one of the bloodiest revolutions in history. His prose is meticulously detailed, perhaps to an exces-sive degree, in a successful attempt to make even the secondary characters come alive in the rather compli-cated series of events making up the plot of the story. The erotic content is considerable but does not detract from the story. It’s best suited for a reader who is a stu-dent of the period in history, although I am outside that category and learned quite a bit from the book. Upper class siblings Grace and Robert share similar problems with their inability to lose weight, as well as their seeming inability to keep a mate. Robert lusts after his best friend James, who doesn’t feel the same way about him. Grace has hired a private investigator to spy on her husband Rich, who is having an affair with a paralegal from his office. When James tells Robert about a supernatural healer An Ideal for Living: A Novel By Marshall Moore (Lethe Press, April 2010, $15 softcover) Bob Lind has been an avid reader of LGBT literature for more than 30 years. His reviews have also appeared online at Amazon, BN.com, Lambda Rising and on his Yahoo book discussion group, Our Bookshelf. www.echomag.com Echo magazinE October 14, 2010 | 61 who supposedly can use massage to almost instantly change anything about your body you don’t like, Robert is leery, but soon he’s one of the healer’s greatest fans. He knows Grace would benefit from the help too, but is wary of recommending the healer for several reasons, including a feeling that there is more to him than at first seems evident. Take one part Oscar Wilde and mix in a generous helping of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and you have an idea of what to expect here. Marshall Moore’s novel is a scathing yet funny indictment of West Coast body image gurus and the general population’s obsession with physical perfection, with a twist ending you won’t soon forget.