March 21, 2011

Review: One More Soldier by Marie Sexton

This was such a beautiful book and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I liked it. It’s a very short story and I really don’t want to give away that many details, but I had to write how good it was and hopefully encourage people to read it.

Is 1970 and 35 year old Will has known 18 year old Bran since he was an 11 year old kid learning how to swim. Bran has been away for the past year and when he comes back the dynamic between them changes. Bran is a man on a mission, and what he wants is Will. Will adamantly refuses his advances because he can’t separate this Bran from the kid he knew, and because of the seventeen-year difference between them. But when Bran tells him that he has been drafted and is leaving in two weeks, everything changes.

You know the phrase “love against all odds”? Well, here you have the epitome of that; first you have two guys in love -and if we still have a long way to go against prejudice, imagine 40 yearsago-, second, one is 18 and the other is 35, and not only that, but they have known each other for seven years, and third Bran is leaving for Vietnam in two weeks.

At first I thought it was going to be a bit creepy given the age difference, but Marie is a talented writer and she does the transition very naturally, I think the weirdness factor is nonexistent mostly because their relationship at the beginning of the book when Bran is a kid is never that of a surrogate father and son, I think that to Will Bran was more of an annoying kid and a friend than a son or a little brother, and also because the time Bran was absent served as a way to create distance and a difference between the kid and the adult.

To me this book should be read by everyone, but specially by people who are on the fence about homosexuality, because it shows how extraordinary situations that are sad and dramatic can be so much worse for people who can’t be themselves out in the open without fear, this scene of the night before Bran left explains this much better than I can:

“Sunday night was the hardest. Bran would be leaving the next morning. His mom was driving him to the train station. Part of me wanted to go with them but I knew it would only make it harder. His mother would be there, crying and watching us. We would have to pretend that there was nothing unusual between us. I didn't want our last moments together to be a lie. Instead he would walk out of my door at seven a.m. and if all went well I would see him again in eighteen months. If it went wrong . . .” 

The two things that this book has left me are that first, it’s all about loving and being loved -that’s a cliché for a reason you know? - and second that there are so many bad things that can happen, that are happening, that to be concerned by the decisions that other people make, specially the decisions they make about their own lives, about who they want to be with, is just plain stupid.

Please read the book! Is a love story but is so much more, and also the sex is hot, so there are many many layers to this one!

Grade: 5
Sensuality: McSteamy borderline McBurning
Review by Brie.
It is 1963. Being gay is a sin against God. And twenty-eight year old mechanic Will meets Bran for the first time.
Over the years a close bond forms between them despite the seventeen year age difference. Will teaches Bran to swim and helps him with homework. The years pass, Bran drops out of school and moves away.
Then Bran comes home. Can Will move past their age difference? And if he does, how can he keep Bran in 1970 America?
A beautifully told tale of love and loss told from the viewpoint of a deeply closeted gay man at the very beginning of the American Gay and Lesbian Rights movement.
Silver Publishing, July 14 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogger likes to eat comments, so I suggest copying it before hitting "publish" just in case it doesn't go through the first time. This is a pain, I know, but it's the only solution/prevision I can think of, and it will save you the frustration of losing a comment. Also, thanks for visiting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

FTC Disclaimer

The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.