“[Evaristo’s] chef d’oeuvre; a masterful dissection of the life of a 74 year-old, British-Caribbean gay man.” —The Huffington Post
* Winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction
* A Top Ten Favorite of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table’s 2015 Over the Rainbow List
Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he’s lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant, wisecracking character with a dapper taste in retro suits, and a fondness for Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather—and also secretly gay lovers with his childhood friend, Morris.
His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.
“Evaristo’s confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen’s English . . . fix characters in the reader’s mind.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men . . . and Evaristo’s writing is both intelligible and compelling.” —Library Journal
“Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity.” —Publishers Weekly
Evaristo's (Blonde Roots) enjoyable new novel follows Barrington Walker, a 74 year-old Antiguan man living in Hackney, London. A husband, father, and grandfather, Barry is a respectable elder with deep pockets and antiquated views of masculinity, but he's also a flamboyant character with deep affections for retro suits, highbrow literature, and his childhood friend and gay lover, Morris. In the twilight of life, Barry is out of patience with his bitter wife, Carmel, and their disintegrated marriage, and he longs to accept Morris's offer to move in together. Barry tells his story in a winning mix of patois and eloquent "speaky-spoky," that is insightful and often hilarious as he confronts his "scaredy-cat" fears and the probable ramifications of finally following his heart. Interspersed chapters from Carmel's point of view highlight her experiences in 10 year intervals, with poetic sentence fragments mixed with longing, self-talk, and prayer; these monologues lend balance to the narrative and trouble the reader's alliance. Barry's story parades a wide range of characters of varying depth and complication, and pivotal conflicts that don't always beget significant consequences. Despite an ending too neatly tied, Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity.