Michael Thomas Ford delivers a triumphant first novel about a group of gay men looking for love, losing the past, and finding themselves in the bars and on the beaches of Provincetown.
Josh Felling has always been a romantic--up until the moment his lover Doug announced that he'd had an affair with a guy from their gym. Now, with his life playing out like a very bad movie of the week, Josh impulsively heads to the Cape for a few days--long enough to figure out where his relationship--what's left of it--might be going. But the summer has other plans for Josh, and his trip to P-town will bring bigger changes than he ever imagined.
With its windswept dunes, lazy summer days, and starry nights filled with possibilities, Provincetown holds special appeal for those who call it home. . .and for those who come seeking its open welcome. People like Reilly Brennan, son of an old P-town family, whose days are caught up in wedding plans, even as his nights are increasingly taken over by heated fantasies about other men. . .Wide-eyed, blond-haired, All-American Toby Evans, an escapee from the Midwest ready to spend the summer in the equivalent of gay boot camp for anyone who will tutor him. . .Elegant Emmeline, age unknown, a southern belle straight out of Faulkner, with a mean drag act and almost enough money for her permanent gender transformation. . .Ty Rusk, one of Hollywood's hottest new stars hiding an ages-old secrets about to explode.
Weaving in and out of these and other lives like the concierge of a Grand Hotel, Josh is in for the summer of his life, a time of turning points and bridges burned, of second chances and new beginnings, of renewal and hope that will bring him closer to becoming the man he needs to be.
"This is a cut above more mainstream gay fiction offerings, thanks to Ford's crisp prose and snappy, contemporary dialogue. . ..the sandy, barefoot-friendly setting morphs all the melodrama into a satisfying beach book--and a pleasant fiction debut for Ford."--Publishers Weekly
After a string of humorous essay collections, Ford (The Little Book of Neuroses) expands his repertoire with this brimful first novel about life, love and self-discovery over the course of a steamy Provincetown summer. Among the bevy of characters Ford introduces is Josh Felling, who flees to a friend's guesthouse to mull over his boyfriend's recent infidelity, though a day later he's already lusting over Reilly Brennan, the soon-to-be-married guesthouse repairman who might not be so straight after all. Midwestern runaway teen Toby Evans arrives soon after, and meets sweet local transgender performer Emmeline, who takes him in; next comes influential Hollywood producer Reid Truman and his boyfriend, hot closeted actor Ty Rusk. A quick weekend away turns into an indefinite stay for Josh, who has decided to write a novel and agrees to donate sperm so that Jackie, a local lesbian restaurant owner, can bear a child. Complicating matters for the Hollywood duo is Devin, an opportunistic local girl who insinuates herself into their lives by agreeing to pose as Ty's New York "love interest," but has big plans to expose their relationship to the tabloids instead. This is a slight cut above more mainstream gay fiction offerings, thanks to Ford's crisp prose and snappy, contemporary dialogue. Though the characters wade across some all-too-familiar waters, it's the sandy, barefoot-friendly setting that morphs all the melodrama into a satisfying beach book and a pleasant fiction debut for Ford. , but the author's familiar name should help it stand out among other gay romances.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Last Summer is exquisite. While I read it in the depths of winter, it made me feel like I was in a summer house on the cape. The characters are varied and multidimensional as well as endearing.
A bit predictable
I’ve enjoyed other MTF novels, but this one was a bit too predictable. While I liked (most) of the characters, I found some to be superfluous like Emmeline or even Toby. The predictable plot leads to some eye-rolling.