Sometimes family chooses you.
At forty, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay—even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ignore what he really wants.
Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.
Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vinnie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence—though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact.
It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important—their families’ or their own.
I love this book. Have re-read several times. I don’t know if it resonates with me especially, if, like Vinnie, I too was late to the party of realizing who I really am or if it just such a great story by such talented writers that it would resonate with anyone.
At almost 40, with 3 ex-wives, a huge catholic Italian family and countless jobs behind him, plumber Vinnie Fierro suddenly realises that he might be gay. This assumption is not as outlandish as that sentence may look, there are reasons, believe me…
Testing the theory by going to a gay bar leads to a meeting with a local from his neighborhood, Trey Giles, a 25 year old college student, with so much on his plate that he has no time for dating and no desire to sleep around, until he finds ‘someone special’. With sex off the table, the two are free to explore being in a relationship and being intimate with out any pressure from either side.
There a truckload of angsty issues, this book could easily have veered off into very heavy territory, but despite the Vinnies fear of coming out and being abandoned by his family, and poor Trey’s mess of a life with two jobs, college and looking after an aging grandmother and a raging alcoholic for a mother, it somehow manages to stay pretty light and feel good.
I have re-read it several times, still love it and I’ll be the first in line when it’s released in audiobook format. I only have very minor niggles about it and one of them is the request for Hank’s story from the authors. There must be a story to tell there!
4.5 of 5 stars