19 January 2023
Standalone or series
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
I was in the mood for a non-thriller.
Review copy or purchase
Thank you to the author, publisher Headline Review, and online book club The Pigeonhole for the chance to read this. This is an honest and voluntary review.
What it’s about
Ted thought he was happy with his husband Giles. But, when he discovers a photo on Giles’s phone his world comes tumbling down. However, as Ted learns to live alone he discovers how much he’d been holding himself back to be what other people expected him to be and now is his time to become his whole self.
I love that the story here is not about Ted struggling with being gay. His family, work colleagues and friends cause no issues with that. But, even though he’s out there’s still a lot about who he is that he feels he has to keep hidden.
There’s a brilliant segment in the book where Ted realises that one of the reasons why he hasn’t embraced all of his ambitions is that he feels he’s already been given so much simply by having his sexuality respected. He realises that he’s internalised a gratitude that he didn’t have to fight to come out, and that’s meant he feels like he’s asking for too much to also move away from the family business and explore the career that he wants.
It’s just one of the ways in which this deceptively warm and cosy read delivers powerful messages. It’s similar to what I love about Heartstopper, that it goes beyond a coming out story to showing the whole person.