My latest book review!!
When Love Comes To Town
Firstly, there aren’t that many set in contemporary Dublin. Secondly, there are not too many told with the humour and compassion of When Love Comes To Town. Finally, there are not that many that are such a good read.
Let me also be honest. There are few new takes on the coming-out dilemma, so don’t expect total originality.
Neil Byrne is a top class student who has realised he isn’t like all his coupled-up (straight) friends. The story takes us through Neil’s tentative steps into Dublin’s gay nightlife and his introduction to the characters of The Scene. Neil’s first love and family’s reaction are all covered and his confusion, pain, hopes & desires are well described.
The family’s response is not a model reaction, so don’t read this book if you are looking for a reassuring, positive take on the acceptance of loved ones to the news that one of their own is gay.
The book’s climax is certainly one of the more surprising aspects of the tale. In a dark moment Neil realises what he needs to do to survive the next few years of his life in an intolerant community. This ending results in a fine piece of writing that conveys the emotion of the final scene remarkably well and, I suspect, brings a lump to the throat of many readers.
Given a less positive ending than many similar books, I found this to be a refreshingly honest story. It is certainly a welcome addition to the genre.