Author Brendan Lemon took this reader on a carousel of emotions, stirring up lost memories and emotions this reader had long forgotten in a moving novel: LAST NIGHT. John (an American) is a 1980’s prisoner in a Cuban prison and does not know his fate when morning dawns. Unsure if he will be executed, John writes his final thoughts in a continuous letter to his younger Cuban lover. In the letter John openly details their short relationship, his life, his thoughts and fears to Eduardo. In writing the letter, John reveals the circumstances that occurred which brought him to this, possibly his last night on Earth.
This is not a light read by any means especially if you allow the emotions to permeate your being. By allowing your own emotions to surface and draw you into this stirring story, you will not only be reading, but experiencing the emotions along with John in this very personal confession.
I would have given this read a rating of 4, but I found the pretentious wording like speed bumps on a road, causing the flow of the story to momentarily jerk me out of the story. But then again, when I was young, I too dated a much older man and his words were just as pretentious as John’s. So let’s just say, maybe that’s a personal preference and not a flaw in Mr. Lemon’s writing style, but a flaw that I found (as a youth) irritated me in my own older lover. With that said, I raise my rating to a 4++ out of 5.
One night, I had this fascinating dream of a young college girl who had just broken up with her boyfriend of four years. Needing some time to recover from the ugly breakup, she escapes to her grandparent’s home. When she arrives no one is at home, she uses her key and goes inside and directly to the one place she always found solace, her grandfather’s study filled with volumes and volumes of books. An avid reader since childhood, Megan had read hundreds of novels from this very room. Browsing the old leather bound books; Megan discovers a book she had never seen before. Scanning the pages, Meg is drawn into a story of two gay men in 1890 London. A story unfolds that in many ways parallels her own broken relationship with her ex-boyfriend.
Writing a story within a story is a challenge within itself, but when the stories have different time frames, Megan exists in the USA in present day and the story she reads (Masked Identities) takes place over a hundred years ago in London. Not only have I not been to the UK, let alone have I ever left the shores of North America, I have not lived in a previous century either.
Immersing myself in researching1890 London history, I was surprised that actual events of the time validated the story I had experienced in a dream. The research has been overwhelming and I probably have adequate notes to write several volumes on the history of 1890 London. What I had initially perceived as a simple story has become a complicated process to write and incorporate authenticity and accuracy.
Some days I bounce back and forth through time, while other days I am grounded in either present day or the past. Masked Identities has become my own personal “time machine” into a very different world from the world we exist in today. So far, each time I mentally travel back to turn of the century London, it’s a new sensory experience, filled with wonderful discoveries and intriguing possibilities. My concern is that one of these days, I may decide not to return from Victorian London and the story may never be completed.
An unusual, coming of age story. Shane, a teen, in 1970’s Oklahoma, is outed by a small town political machine, the very powers-that-be who want to keep him in the closet. Eventually, Shane comes to terms with the fact that he is the first openly gay high school student in his hometown. Bursting out of the closet, he literally blows the doors off of small-town politics, setting into motion a series of events that could cost him more than just his desire to graduate. Unaware that his uphill battle for self preservation is paving the way to even greater challenges that lie ahead.
Along Shane’s turbulent journey of self-discovery, an ambiguous Kable, the high school football quarterback, unexpectedly shows up during Shane’s most trying times. Is this coincidental? Unable to discern if Kable is a friend, a lover, or an adversary, is there something about Kable he is unaware?
A story loosley based on the author’s own coming out.