I’ve just finished reading “Paper Moon” by Marion Husband. It’s already been reviewed on Speak Its Name, but I wanted to add my two pence worth.
It’s a truly wonderful book. It’s a sequel of sorts to “The Boy I Love” which I really loved too. Like that book it’s set after a war, only this time it’s the second world war, not the first, and like that book it has a man damaged and reassessing his life. It’s a simple enough story but the writing—oh my GOD the writing. Why is this woman not as famous—MORE famous than Sarah Waters? She runs rings around her. It’s difficult for me to describe, really – but, it’s such wonderful prose. Not in an inaccessible way, it’s not stuffed full of purple imagery or symbolism, but it’s so very real. Fantastically well observed. There’s a scene where the “heroine” (I use that term loosely) looks around her horrible little London flat and there’s a mention of the sticky residue on the windows where she took the sticky tape off after the war ended. Rather than being a celebration, she says it turned into a chore and nothing really felt like celebration.
Paper Moon isn’t a gay book, exactly, the way that The Boy I Love is—but the homosexual aspects of life colour every plotline in it, but the relationships featured are heterosexual ones.
If you liked the Pat Barker books, or Maurice, anything like that – I HUGELY recommend these books – you don’t really need to read The Boy I Love to appreciate Paper Moon, but I suggest that you do, you’ll get more out of Francis Law when he turns up.
I just wish I could write a tenth as well.
I found this today, thanks to Alex Beecroft for pointing it out. It’s a deeply filtered list, but it’s very nice to be #1 and #3. :)
What is nicer is that I’m at 65 on the general gay list with no filtering – and it has a little note next to it saying “75 days in the top 100.” That’s nice. Really nice.