Read Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo Online

mr-loverman

Barrington Jedidiah Walker.Barry to his friends.Trouble to his wife.Seventy-four years old, Antiguan born and bred, flamboyant Hackney personality Barry is known for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits.He is a husband, father and grandfather.And for the past sixty years, he has been in a relationship with his childhood friend and soulmate, Morris.Wife Carmel knowBarrington Jedidiah Walker.Barry to his friends.Trouble to his wife.Seventy-four years old, Antiguan born and bred, flamboyant Hackney personality Barry is known for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits.He is a husband, father and grandfather.And for the past sixty years, he has been in a relationship with his childhood friend and soulmate, Morris.Wife Carmel knows Barry has been cheating on her, but little does she know what is really going on. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington has big choices to make.Mr Loverman is a groundbreaking exploration of Britain's older Caribbean community, which explodes cultural myths and fallacies, and shows how deep and far-reaching the consequences of prejudice and fear can be. It is also a warm-hearted, funny and life-affirming story about a character as mischievous, cheeky and downright lovable as any you'll ever meet....

Title : Mr Loverman
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780241145784
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 307 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mr Loverman Reviews

  • Rowena
    2018-10-19 01:09

    His name is Morris. He is my Morris and he always be my Morris. He's a good-hearted man, a special man, a sexy man, a history-loving man, a loyal man, a man who appreciates a good joke, a man of many moods, a drinking man, and a man with whom I can be myself completely. Yes, I was in the throes of a Malibu-and-Coke-soaked madness, a madness that could lead to the demise of my life as I'd hitherto known it. But I was on the verge. - Bernardine Evaristo, Mr. LovermanI love this book’s cover; it reminds me of “Les Sapeurs” (http://www.npr.org/sections/picturesh...), the fashionistas from the Congo and it was one of the main reasons I picked up this book. And when I learned that the story is about an elderly man who is in the closet, it got even more interesting. This is perhaps my favourite fiction read of the year.The story is about a 74 year old Antiguan immigrant, Barrington "Barry" Walker, who decides to leave his wife for his lover of over 50 years, Morris. Barry is an interesting character; a polymath and a heavy drinker, with some old-fashioned views but also plenty of wisdom. It is so easy to see him as a bad guy, cheating on his wife and basically driving her crazy in the process due to his emotional distance, not being honest about his relationship with Morris. I think about how different the world is now to what it was then, particularly with gay rights and acceptance, and it's also easy to see Barry as a victim of his time and his (very conservative) Antiguan culture. Barry decides to take the plunge and come to terms with his sexuality (he initially calls himself a “barrysexual” ).I appreciated the rich storytelling, the simple truths, and the humour in this book. I also liked the look at the history and the struggle of black immigrants from the Commonwealth in the UK; my parents were two such people : "This country has over fifty million citizens, whereas we didn't even have fifty thousand in the whole of Antigua and Barbuda. Folk could get lost here, be anonymous, lead they own quiet lives. In this city you can live on the same street as your neighbours for eighty years and not even say a good morning unless there's a war on and you forced to share a bomb shelter. Back home everybody kept their eye on everything and everyone.""I am not a man given to sourness, but I left those banks with my mouth filled with the vile of bitter gourd. I ain't no political animal neither, but, pray tell, had not our labour drip-fed plantation profits to this country for hundreds of years before manumissions? Has not thousands of our young men fought in two world wars for this land? Were not we immigrants paying our taxes and making our ways as good citizens of this country?"Also interesting were the dynamics between parents and children raised in different cultures. Having been raised in two very different cultures myself I could definitely relate. Evaristo has some funny examples, one of my favourites was how Barry chose to describe sushi:"She rips open the plastic cover with her black talents and pops supposedly edible objects into her mouth. I lean over and examine the contents of her "lunch": four raw slivers of salmon on top of a thumb-sized blob of rice, a few lettuce leaves, about twenty bean-things with tails that looked like human embryos, strands of grated carrot, birdseed, a few pickled slices of finger, and some slimy black leafy substance that looks like it should-a remained in the sea."I also liked the thoughts on how it is to raise a child as a minority in the west, how stressful it is for a parent to raise a minority child with self-esteem given that the mainstream society does little to help in that regard: "I always made Maxine feel her opinions was important. I never slaughtered my daughter in an argument. I knew the rest if the world might do that to her, but not me, not her father. This is when it hits me.The world did do it to her.It said, You, my dear, are not the star of our show."Surprisingly for me, I was actually able to feel a little empathy for the British who might have been overwhelmed with the sudden import of "foreignness" into their land: "We had chosen to emigrate, so we expected foreignness, whereas they hadn't chosen to leave their home but all of a sudden it was full of foreigners. With the wisdom of hindsight, I now see they had lost their bearings." The use of language was wonderful throughout. There was definitely a postcolonialist acceptance of diverse language usage. Excellent book which I'd recommend to anyone.

  • Columbus
    2018-10-23 02:08

    I enjoyed this book immensely. Bernardine Evaristo is an incredibly talented author and her witty writing is certainly on display here. Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Mr. Loverman) is a hoot! Witty, audacious, loving and carefree. He's a 74 year old closeted gay man born in Antigua and living in London with his wife of 50 years. Oh, and did I mention his lover (whom his wife figures as just his BFF) lives nearby where they enjoy a tryst every now and then, unbeknownst to anyone? Will Barry finally tell his wife that he is no longer happy in this marriage and prefer to spend the rest of his life with his lover? I think the subtitle to this book could have been -- Mr. Loverman: Travails of A Marriage Gone Bad.Excellent read!

  • Antonomasia
    2018-10-05 21:51

    Shabba.Right, we’ve got that out of the way.(The record is mentioned once in the book, BTW.)A novel about a seventy-four year old black Caribbean man in East London who’s been in a down-low gay relationship for most of his adult life, and is forced to confront the possibility of divorce from his wife and finally coming out – to some people that may sound rather worthy. Actually, it’s a joy to read: Barrington (aka Barry) is brilliant company as a narrator, he’s funny, well-read and has a great turn of phrase. One of those rare fictional characters where presence and charisma have been created perfectly from mere ink and paper, to the extent that sometimes he makes jokes which from other people might sound uncool, but from him quite the opposite. He’s like an older Peter O’Toole character (but not as decrepit as in Venus) – in the difficult ways as well as the fun ones. Even during the sort of mundane scenes that are often boring in contemporary novels, the smile rarely left my face. Carmel, Barry’s wife, also has some of the narrative, covering their earlier life together (his is in the present day). Whilst she’s not witty in the same way, these chapters are well written with a slightly poetic structure, more obviously emotive - she's had bouts of severe post-natal depression, a successful career in local government housing, and has suffered under the impression that her husband is a lifelong womaniser - there's lots of big stuff to say because of the amount of time her chapters each cover. Like characters in Small Island and the sequel to The Lonely Londoners, Barry spotted the opportunity in derelict, cheap houses in then-unfashionable parts of London in the fifties and sixties. By the 2010s he's comfortably established as a well-off landlord, paying for his grandson to attend a top private school. He must be sitting on a fortune, but he and Carmel still live in the first house he bought (he's a Millionaire Next Door type), and they've watched the gentrification of the area happen around and with them. Whilst he hasn't been racially insulted in the street for about twenty years, he still experiences some frostiness in wealthy and central areas of London. The contrast in the acceptance of his wife and elder daughter in senior jobs in local authorities - where they could even be part of a majority in some departments - versus the blocks his other daughter's found in the world of fashion, ring completely true with the compartmentalised communities and sets of attitudes I've noticed in big English cities. (If you work and live in certain highly integrated occupational or geographical areas, it's possible to perceive racism as no longer a daily problem - but there are different worlds not very far away where it still is.)Without actually declaring themselves, Barry and Morris, his best mate (and partner) have made friends with some locals who implicitly get his relationship situation, including an old health-food shop owner who arrived with the white hippie trustafarians of the 60s and 70s, and a former friend of his daughter, a lesbian from Montserrat who was bravely out from the late 70s onwards. Carmel, meanwhile, socialises mostly with her Pentecostal Christian friends. It's evident that homophobia - from religious people, and in popular culture, such as dancehall lyrics (Barry and Morris still like going clubbing) and violence against 'batty men' - feels a closer, more contemporary threat to Barry than it might for a white bloke of similar social standing. Although a number of characters disagree with Carmel’s opinions about homosexuality, the narrative doesn’t judge her. And if you’ve been around someone like her as, say, a colleague or neighbour, that kind of neutrality, not just dismissing her as a bigot, and seeing different sides of her, whilst keeping something reserved, is familiar.Okay, there are moments in the book that are a bit two-dimensional or cartoonish. And can you really have a novel about the lives of gay men who sometimes cruised in the late 70s without once alluding to HIV, luck, acquaintances lost? A while ago I might have given 4 or 4.5 stars but right now I’m tired of all that stingy cheese-paring bits of stars: I’ve given so few 5s this year (and am also retrospectively bumping up one or two of the most enjoyable or impressive books).This book and its central character are really likeable and entertaining. That’s why more people should read it. It also happens to say a lot of the right things and to fit the criteria of those who like to preach demographic quotas for leisure reading – who too often say people *should* read a book because of representation issues, rather than recommending something because it’s well written and/or fun. It’s intersectional without using the term – a word which the narrator would surely make fun of whilst also kind of seeing the point. The most right-on readers could emphasis the pain this man has caused his family, others can enjoy the character as a loveable, stylish, witty rogue - the different sides are all there.

  • K.J. Charles
    2018-10-03 19:04

    The story of an elderly married Caribbean gentleman finally claiming his sexuality as he decides to get a divorce and live with his lifelong lover Morris, and the effects on him, his family, his life. This is a fabulous read. Barry is a deeply flawed character--unreconstructed and very sexist in some ways, selfish, failing everyone including himself at points--and we see how that's caused by both his character and his upbringing, by racism and colonialism and the lingering effects of slavery many generations on, by religion and shame and social constraints. Everyone in this book is flawed/damaged (hard to say which): his wife Carmen could easily come across as a caricature harpy type, except it's very clear how much her marriage has ruined her life, how she could have been happy and satisfied without the forces of religion and a sham marriage distorting her personality and withering her hopes. Basically the author makes no excuses for any of her characters but we still root absolutely for them to find a way forward, make atonement, recognise what they did wrong, and finally, at last, get things right. It's a thoroughly uplifting read in the end, even if it's a book all about how badly people screw each other up, because it's also about how we can make changes, and try to make things better. I could have done without the recurring Shabba Ranks earworm. Otherwise a fantastic book and I love the cover.

  • Nakia
    2018-10-01 02:46

    The most entertaining book I've read this year, so far. In "Mr. Loverman", Bernardine Evaristo writes about 70+ year old Barry, an Antiguan living in London in a loveless marriage. He's retired, spry, financially comfortable, forever learning, extremely dapper, witty as hell, and enjoys liquor a little too much. His wife, Carmel, suspects he's been cheating on her with various loose women since the beginning of their marriage over 50 years ago, so she unleashes fire on him every time he enters their home. While he takes all of her fury in stride, he quietly contemplates divorce so that he can live the rest of his golden years with his life long best friend, Morris. Barry and Morris are besties, and have been since their teen years, but they are also lovers. Shocking, I know, but you learn this in the synopsis in the novels cover flap. No biggie. The real biggie here is the writing, which sucks you in immediately. Evaristo switches from Barry's POV to Carmel's life story every few chapters. Again, Barry is witty and many times hilarious, as he explains the joys of loving his best friend in private while raising a family with the most beautiful woman on the island of Antigua, who eventually turns cold and evil with her pack of girlfriends to support her every snarl. Rightfully so, as she's committed to her vows and will not part from Barry despite feeling unloved for decades. Many times Barry feels heavy guilt on both sides: making his best friend wait in the shadows makes him feel terrible, and putting Carmel through hell does as well. On the flip side, Carmel's story, through poetic prose, shares her experience falling in love with the most sought after young man on her island, to moving her family to London and questioning why her husband doesn't love her the way that he should. Thrown in are the lives of their daughters, grandson, friends, and Morris's struggle with living a double life, as well.Though the subject matter is heavy with the ultimate moral being the devastation that takes place when people are not given the freedom to live life as they should, Evaristo makes you chuckle on every page and laugh out loud on every other (she reminds me of why I fell in love with all of Andrea Levy's novels). She's also a pro at aptly describing each character's motivations and intentions, and does well in enveloping the reader in Antiguan culture to the point that one is surprised she isn't Antiguan herself. I loved her writing style, especially the prose used for Carmel's story. The ending catches you by surprise but it's still rather satisfying, and I'd absolutely love to see this as a PBS or BBC miniseries. Definitely adding Evaristo to my list of favorite authors now.

  • Elizabeth A
    2018-09-25 03:08

    And the streak continues! Another five star read this year featuring a gay man, albeit a closeted one, and this one was written by a woman. This story is about Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Barry to his friends), a seventy-four year old Antiguan living in Britain. He is a husband, father, grandfather, and has been cheating on his wife with his childhood lover Morris, for the past sixty years. Based on this description you would think that you'd dislike Barry, but you would be wrong.There is so much I loved about this book. I appreciated the humor, the witty dialog, Barry's wisdom and insights into human nature, the exploration of being a gay man of color before all "this gay liberation stuff", the observations of being an immigrant in a country that does not want you, the challenge of raising children in a culture not your own, the ripple effects on the family caused by this double life ..... I could go on and on, but you really need to experience this for yourself. This is mainly Barry's story, but we also get sections from Carmel's (the wife) point of view, and the juxtaposition of the two is fantastic. The language is wonderful, the story sucked me in and I could not wait to see what would happen next. I slowed down the pace of my reading as I got closer to the end, because I did not want to stop hanging out with the characters in this book. I loved every minute of this excellent book, and would highly recommend it.I listened to the audiobook, which is superbly narrated by Robin Miles and Ron Butler. If you decide to read this one, I would highly recommend the audiobook version. The narrators have accents and a delivery style that added immensely to my enjoyment of this story.

  • Patty
    2018-10-15 18:41

    You know what? This book was great. Sensitive, empathetic, soul-searching, and painful, with beautifully crafted characters. I felt I really *knew* these people, they were so *human*. A witty, funny, sassy, coming-of-age-at-the-age-of-74 story. It portrayed the repercussions a family feels over a lifetime due to the crucial decision of one man. The author reminded me that it is never too late to really live the life you want to live. She also made me think of my own life, and how so many people have so many more obstacles to overcome than I have. Bernadine Evaristo really made me think about the differences between myself; a middle aged, white, American woman, and our protagonist; an elderly, black, gay, immigrant. Wow.

  • Rjlouise
    2018-09-21 20:45

    I got this book through the LibraryThing Early Review program.I'll admit: I did not like this book at first blush. I finished the book and couldn't figure out why a quick, engaging, thought-provoking novel left me cold. When I finally figured it out, I realized I did like the book, just not in the way I wanted to, but rather in a better way (which is why it made me think).The main character, Barry, is the villain of the story. Let me be clear: he is not A villain. Rather he's the villain of the story. He married a woman he did not love to cover up his gay affair, he took her away from her home by moving to a different country, he had two kids with her that he by turns hyper-criticized/spoiled rotten, he didn't leave his wife when the children were grown, he wasn't careful about hiding his affair from his kids (so they grew up in a house of a lot of secrets), and he treated his lover, Morris, abominably for many years. I sympathize with Barry - he had a lot of difficult decisions to make - but he is absolutely the villain of the story. He's created a broken house around himself all because it was more comfortable. He is selfish and sometimes cruel.That all being said, the writing was excellent. Dialectal differences between characters, accents portrayed in spelling, even the different styles of speaking from the two narrators, were all extremely well executed. The character development, while Barry changes little (in true villain form), was well done for all the others, and it was an incredibly interesting experience to experience the story from the villain's point of view. (To be fair, some people may call Barry an anti-hero, but I don't think he fits that mold as well.) The past was told mainly in the wife's voice and I really appreciated getting to see her points of view. They were a necessary balance to Barry's very selfish, fault-casting personality.There are also some very interesting discussions in the books about feminism, religion, race, and the immigrant experience. Barry, Morris, and their wives were born, educated, and raised in Antigua, then moved to England. This entire book is about discovering how to live the life YOU want, and these discussions are secondary to Barry's secret sexuality, but they are VERY much a part of what both of the families have to deal with in a culture not their own and not particularly welcoming. Barry is flawed and ANNOYING. He's lied to everyone (including himself, convincing himself that it's not an affair if he's not sleeping with other women) his entire life. He has a lot of internalized/generational sexism and homophobia. He's a pretty terrible parent. He's so imperfect. But this story wasn't ever meant to be about perfection or redemption, so far as I can tell. It was about a series of lives long lived in the shadows and how each person needed to find their way out. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, but I did very much enjoy it myself.B+ (excellent writing in style and execution, interesting narrator choices; main character difficult to appreciate/relate to)

  • Britt
    2018-10-15 18:45

    On the heels of the Harry Potter I was reminded of just what it is about literary fiction that makes my heart beat. I feel like I am back at the grown up table discussing sexuality, family, love, redemption, and pain. There are so many consequences that come from not living in the truth of love. The collateral damage of being in love with self image rather than yourself is at center stage of the entire book. The author made me feel like every single character is, or at least could be who I am at any given moment of any given day.There is no way to remove them from your heart you will love the whole family.

  • Andrew Smith
    2018-10-01 02:59

    Wonderfully entertaining. Honest, witty, and empathetic at the same time.

  • Josh
    2018-10-05 00:04

    Confession: I have a likely slightly patronizing love for elderly gay men. This may explain how Bernadine Evaristo's Mr. Loverman was able to so quickly grab me in the feels and hold on for the entire time I was reading it.The start of Loverman was somewhat rocky for me. Evaristo's language choices are both more deliberate than is commonly found in novels in my experience and far more idiosyncratic. The latter is to be expected, I suppose, with a 70-something year old Antiguan ex-pat narrator living in London, who comes from a poorer background but is now quite financially successful. Barrington "Barry" Walker speaks and thinks in a hodgepodge of dialects and code-switches rapidly depending on audience and topic. It therefore took me a while to become accustomed to his language, but once I did, it added an immeasurable richness to his storytelling. And oh what a story he has to tell. Barry's life is as fascinating a mixture as his speech. A sociable hard worker with a strong autodidactic streak, he encounters and befriends all manner of people. His memories of them are skillfully parceled out by Evaristo as another means of gradually revealing more of his character and history. As interesting as these essentially cameo appearances are, it is Barry's relationships with his wife, daughters, and lover that make Mr. Loverman so captivating. He interacts with each in a distinct manner that reveals much about his worldview: distant and fatalistic with his wife, playful and kind with his favorite daughter, simultaneously guilty and stern with his other daughter, and paradoxically warm yet cautious with his lover Morris. The reader is also treated with occasional chapters from Barry's wife Carmel, written in stream of consciousness free verse that add her much appreciated perspective to the novel. My only complaint with Loverman is that the topics of cheating and domestic abuse seem somewhat glossed over. I would have liked to see either more consideration of them, especially because of their unpredicted (by me) sources. This hardly affected my enjoyment, though, for what is otherwise a wonderful read.

  • Kate Ahl
    2018-10-02 20:46

    I enjoyed this book, but aspects of it didn't feel very true. Barry and Carmel are very well drawn, but Maxine and Daniel felt a bit like caricatures, and I got no real sense of Morris, which was disappointing. A lot of potential problems, hardship, and acrimony - which could have made for greater emotional depth to the book - were neatly avoided thanks to Morris's having masses of money to throw at whatever problems came his way. Still, all in all an uplifting read.

  • Ellie
    2018-10-22 00:57

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Loverman. Mr Barry Walker is such a character! I really like his dry sense of humour, everything he says is pure comedy gold. Bitter-sweet and heart wrenching. Observant to the issues of race and sexuality, skillfully written and very interesting to read, highly recommended!

  • Jane
    2018-10-11 23:05

    Such a fun audio listen wonderful language and beautifully read.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-10-16 01:55

    Excellent book, absolutely excellent. Bernardine Evaristo is one of the most underrated writers writing today. She takes what could be a very one sided and predictable story and tell it more as fable than human drama, but she doesn't, not one whit. Everything she writes is real and complex and does justice to its subject.This is the story of Barry, Barrington Walker of Hackney, previously Antigua, seventy-something, suave, sophisticated and secretly gay. This is the story of him preparing to come out, to end his fifty-year marriage and possibly lose his standing in his community. The book is set in present day but full of remembrances of his life-long love affair with Morris, his best friend, of all the moments where the path turned and choices were made or not made. The best thing about this book is its treatment of Barry's wife, Carmel, who is as much the centre of this book as he is. Your sympathy is so obviously going to go to Barry, to have to hide his love and live a secret life because of homophobia, the threat of ostracism, imprisonment or even violence. But Evaristo doesn't let us off that easy and she doesn't write lazy books, and we are given the very uneasy insight into what it has done to Carmel to live for her whole adult life without love, without sexual desire, without honesty, and how that has warped her personality and blighted her life. Barry, who is outwardly far more sympathetic than his bitter, bigoted, Bible-bashing wife, has in fact got a lot more than her in many ways - he has at least loved and been loved in return. And he has used up her life in his self-serving, if necessary, lie.In a lot of ways this book is about cowardice and bravery, of how many small and unknown ways people can be brave, how many times they miss opportunities to make themselves or others happy out of fear. It is about how we fight for who we are and what we want, and win and lose many myriad battles. It is about a life, a combination of achievements and regrets. In the end, it's a story about love.Read this book, you'll love Barry and you'll love it.

  • Sarah
    2018-10-11 22:00

    I received a copy of this book through goodreads first reads and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The lead character Barrington Walker has a very dry sense of humour and the interactions between him and his 'lover' are some of the best parts in the book. The way they insult each other is entertaining and you can't help liking them, despite their many flaws (lying to everybody and living a double life for decades being the main issue, but their relationship with alcohol is also highly amusing).The story was engaging and highlighted a lot of important issues, including the changing attitudes towards gay men in society, racism and religion. Whilst pointing out the many injustices that people face just for being 'different', the book still manages to remain humorous and 'upbeat' and kept me turning the pages to find out what would become of everybody.I'm so glad we find out what happens to all of the main characters, and aren't left wondering. I won't spoil the ending, as it is lovely to read and not know how the characters will resolve their problems, but I am pleased that everything is wrapped up and we are kept laughing up until the end.This is a page turner, lots of laughs and with the critical moral reminder all the way through of how much happier we are when people are true to themselves.

  • Cat
    2018-10-10 22:09

    I received this book to review and am I ever greatful that I did!I loved this story, the people, the language, the flow. I can’t find one fault. The moment I started reading, I knew I was in for a new experience. The moment I finished, I knew I would miss all the wonderful new characters I’d come to know.I never faltered between the two distinct voices and points of view of the “verbious” Barry and the long suffering Carmel. Ms. Evaristo found a stylistic solution to what is often (in lesser books) a confusing jumping from first-person attitudes with a poetic flow for Carmel and a nearly jet-fueled jazz blast from Barry. Morris needs no one to speak for him as he is all but a very welcome omnipresence in this tale of a lovely “old married couple.” From beginning to end, I found myself laughing out loud at the most unexpected times and at others, my heart broke into frustrated pieces over this family’s life with fear, anger, bitter divides and ever lasting love. Some of the paragraphs dropped me in my tracks and I found myself reading them over and over again to get the full measure and flavor of a distinctly Antiguan accent and world view. This novel is a gem of sparkling witticisms that I will not soon forget.

  • Vicci Divine
    2018-10-02 01:05

    Interesting story selected for the ATP Bookclub! I thought the point of view was interesting as I've seen books written on the female perspective but rarely about the males. I liked that we got to watch the unfolding of the plan to come out from an older gentleman. The twist is that the main character is well into his 70s and married for over 50 years and ready to come out and live in his truth. The author and setting of the book is English so I did run into a few words (acronyms) that I wasn't familiar with. Also, I wonder why Carmelita's sections were written in the style they were but it made it easy to know who's POV we were getting. Ultimately, it was a story of transformation and being free. I can dig it.

  • Ray
    2018-10-08 23:47

    Gay, black, dl, Caribbean, east end (of London), neighborhood love--a lot of things I like. The obvious duality of a closeted older black man was just a base for a lot more texture, like Barry also being incredibly sexist and making full use of a lot of male privilege.Also funny.Dual first person style with one unreliable narrator and one that speaks in prose poetry. Pretty impressively done.The plot got tied up too neatly--Barry got let off the hook to fully own how some of his decisions affected others. And Carmel and especially Morris could have used more development.

  • Shawn
    2018-09-28 02:10

    Beautifully written, often very funny, and, at least for those of us only 10 or 15 years younger than Barrington Walker, ringing mostly true in its portrayal of the lives of many gay men who grew up in the years before liberation, whether in the American Midwest or in London. Regardless of race and geography, we shared the hugely important experience of being despised and outlawed by the societies in which we lived. But don't get the idea that this book is a downer! Barry is one of the most delightful and amusing characters I've come across in my last several years of reading.

  • Akilah
    2018-09-25 18:55

    12/19/17 - about halfway through chapter 6 ("The Art of Relationships") on audio. will pick it back up in print form since I'm not going to finish before I have to return it.2/2/18 - So I either keep picking this book up at the wrong time or it is just not for me. I'm going to have to set it aside AGAIN because I am not feeling it right now. I really do like the voice and characters, though, so I am going to just assume I am in a ~mood~. Made it to pg. 140 this time.

  • Helen White
    2018-10-07 02:41

    Surprisingly good, I wasn't expecting much (shame on me) but this was good. Barry and Morris have been together over 60 years, all they need is for Barry to leave his wife. 'Wifey' Carmel is a good depiction of demented long suffering wife and with 2 wildly differing daughters Barry can't be sure how any of his family will react when he comes out.

  • Shari
    2018-10-07 22:09

    So many things I loved about this book: the well developed and multifaceted characters, the language, the story line, the banter and arguing between the characters, the context, the setting. An interesting and important subject, and a hoot to read as well. Well done!

  • Tim
    2018-10-11 21:46

    The author uses the Caribbean-British mixture of language and culture to convey the sense of place and character beautifully. Familiar story of love and marriage set in a new culture.

  • Uranie
    2018-10-12 03:00

    I would give it a 4.5

  • Manika
    2018-10-13 19:05

    perfect summer read full of wits, laughter, humour whilst dealing about race ,gender, sexuality, closed lgbt and how secrecy and resentment can ruin lives. but there was a happy closure.

  • Beverly
    2018-10-02 00:59

    Thoughts coming shortly

  • Iona
    2018-10-21 22:54

    Funny, interesting, thought provoking, and sad.

  • Adrienne
    2018-09-24 01:08

    I seriously struggled with this book. In fact of the 12 members of my bookclub all 12 of us didn't enjoy it.The story was very very slow. I was unexcited and quite uninterested in the characters. I just couldn't force myself to read the book. Nothing drew me in except the potential in the storyline of Barry being an older gentleman who is living a dual life. A heterosexual married man with children, and secretly gay man for over 60 years.

  • Yvonne
    2018-10-02 22:00

    Very funny! What an artist Evaristo is... the way she uses language is just amazing! The story however is a little flat... two unlikeable characters with affiliations with the Caribbean the role of which is never really elaborated on... Still: funny read!