Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review: The Heart's History by Lewis DeSimone

This is Edward architect, friend, lover, mystery. Everyone has their own Edward a kaleidoscope of images struggling to define a man who has never let anyone get too close. But now, Edward is dying, and all of his loved ones are desperate to understand him, to connect fully with him, before it's too late.
This is Edward... 

I was drained by the time I finished reading The Heart's History by Lewis DeSimone. Talk about characters that come alive and jump off the page! And I'm not just referring to Edward, I'm referring to all the other characters that revolve around him like planets around a sun: Harlan, Bill, Kyle, and Edward's lover Robert.

Yes, through these characters' inner struggles, some excellent dialogue that made me laugh out loud, cry and ponder, even as I wanted to know more about the motivation behind some personal decisions, by the time I finished reading this book they had ceased to be characters and had become Harlan, Bill, Kyle, and Robert.

And Edward. The Sun. Edward is dying of AIDS in an era when most of those around him that are afflicted, manage the disease and survive. Portrayed in fragmented pieces as his friends and lover bring him to life for the reader, Edward with his strengths and weaknesses seems to know something that they don't know. A whole village is needed to figure out the fragmented pieces that make up the puzzle that is this man, and still he leaves his loved ones wanting more. The questions: Can you ever fully know, understand, or connect with the person you love? Is it necessary to connect all the pieces of the puzzle to make that love more meaningful or real? What a character!

DeSimone builds a realistic portrait of these men's lives, gay life, as it was during the first part of the 21st Century -- 2002 through 2007. These are friends that through the years become a close-knit family, closer and more meaningful to each other than blood relatives because together they share the beauty, obstacles and realities presented by the gay lifestyle. A lifestyle that begins to change and shift with the advent of gay marriage and relationship commitments, all of it possibly leading to assimilation into the larger mainstream community. The uncertainty and differing points of view on this subject are examined in detail through DeSimone's excellent portrayals of Harlan and Greg's characters.

However, where DeSimone really succeeds is in how he delves into the heart and the individual's need for connection. Through the shifting and very different perspectives of Bill, Kyle, Harlan and Robert, the author takes the reader on a journey where the depth of love, the need for connection and the struggle to maintain individuality in the face of both are deeply explored.

The Heart's History is an intimate portrait of the individuals and families that made up the gay community during a time of significant change, but more accurately it is a portrait of the human heart, the struggle, the hopes and joys that come from that search for connection through love.

Category: LGBT/Gay Fiction
Series: None
Publisher/Release Date: Lethe Press/May 15, 2012
Source: Lethe Press
Grade: B+

Visit Lewis DeSimone here.

Other novels by this author:
Chemistry

2 comments:

  1. This book sounds very intense, but kind of in a good way.

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    Replies
    1. Alex, you said it. The story is intense, but it also has really amusing and human moments that break up that intensity along the way. It grabbed me. Their story (and characters) took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions with them. So yes... it was a good. :D

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