Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver.
Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of them. Oliver, a retired history teacher, is the original crotchety old man who hates everything and everybody—especially young people.
From the blurb, you get the idea: Tellumo is interested in Oliver, Peggy is interested in Oliver, Oliver is kind of a misanthrope and doesn’t want to get involved with either (he’s too old for Tellumo and too gay for Peggy!)
What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that Tellumo ends up really good friends with Peggy and we get a really in-depth view of her life – so she is no “evil female” out to ruin the romance between our MCs. In fact, I’d say the book is equally divided into thirds – Peggy, Oliver and Tellumo each share a third of the book.
Oliver has other issues in his life – a dying friend, his own fear of mortality, his own past relationship demons.
Tellumo is like a breath of fresh air to both Peggy and Oliver – offering his youth and open heart to help them heal.
Peggy has her own issues and secrets, wants and desires and they don’t all stem around Oliver.
In a nutshell this book is NOTHING like I thought it would be. There is NO on-page sex, the couple doesn’t even get together until 80% in, most of the story is simply the telling of the lives of our characters and slowly introducing them to one another – which doesn’t happen until 60 % in or so.
If you’re interested in a look into the lives of 3 interesting people, each of whom has something invested in the other in one way or another, and like that several of the characters are gay (Tellumo has 2 mothers) then this is the story for you.
If you’re looking for a “traditional boy meets boy” romance – this is not that book.
The writing is excellent and the stories are compelling – but I’m not sure I’d really call this a “romance” although it is clearly a portion of this book.
As a result of the unique flavor of the book I’m having a hard time rating it … so I won’t! I’ll give it high marks for writing and leave it at that.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review