Derek Mayfield is having the best year of his life and the hardest year of his life.
He's just gone from overweight and closeted to a lean, loving, out and proud black gay man. But he also just found out he's HIV positive (in 1988).
For a break from life, Derek takes off for Cancun, where he meets the Velardes, a white family from Arizona that resembles "a Norman Rockwell painting."
The oldest brother, Rob -- sixteen and straight-identified -- reminds Derek of the white jocks he worshipped in his youth. But Rob is also naïve beyond belief. He worships Derek as the hip, athletic, black guy who knows so much about life.
Rob’s younger brother, Skeeter also looks up to Derek, as does their single mother, who thinks of Derek as a good role model for her restless boys.
Derek, Rob and Skeeter embark on a series of youthful adventures, hanging out at the beach, wading in the ocean, telling jokes, faking shark attacks, playing sports, sailing, looking for aliens in the tropical night sky -- like something out of Derek's boyhood dreams, three kids in search of innocent fun during one magical summer.
But Derek is no kid. And he's also in a very vulnerable place.
The more time he spends with the family, the more inseparable they become, which means Derek must tell the family he is gay, and tell Rob that he is attracted to him.
When the truth is revealed, the true adventure begins.
And none of their lives will ever be the same.
A 2001 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best Small Press Title