Tommy and Nathan Bishop are as different as two brothers can be. Carefree and careless, Tommy is the golden boy who takes men into his bed with a seductive smile and turns them out just as quickly. No one can resist him--and no one can control him, either. That salient point certainly isn't lost on his brother. Nathan is all about control. At thirty-one, he is as dark and complicated as Tommy is light and easy, and he is bitter beyond his years. While Tommy left for the excitement of New York City, Nathan has stayed behind, teaching high school English in their provincial hometown, surrounded by the reminders of their ruined family history and the legacy of anger that runs through him like a scar.
Now, Tommy has come home to the family cottage by the sea for the summer, bringing his unstable, sexual powder keg of an entourage--and the distant echoes of his family's tumultuous past--with him. Tommy and his lover Philip are teetering on the brink of disaster, while their married friends, Camille and Kyle, perfect their steps in a dance of denial, each partner pulling Nathan deeper into the fray. And when one of Nathan's troubled students, Simon, begins visiting the house, the slow fuse is lit on a highly combustible mix.
During a heady two-week party filled with drunken revelations, bitter jealousies, caustic jabs, and tender reconciliations, Tommy and Nathan will confront the legacy of their twisted family history--their angry, abusive father and the tragic death of their mother--and finally, the one secret that has shaped their entire lives. It is a summer that will challenge everything Nathan remembers and unravel Tommy's carefully constructed facade, drawing them both unwittingly into a drama with echoes of the past. . .one with unforeseen and very dangerous consequences.
"There are undercurrents of tragedy and emotional scarring at work that take the story to disturbing places. . .Yates puts his novel together like a one-two punch and makes it readable. . .you can't put it down." --Edge Magazine
Bart Yates is the author of Leave Myself Behind. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.From Booklist :
Gay high-school English teacher Nathan Bishop lives in the small Connecticut town and the house in which he grew up, unlike brother Tommy, a decidedly urban type who's a real love-'em-and-leave-'em player with the guys. Imagine quiet Nathan's surprise when Tommy arrives with his current hunk and a married couple (man-woman, yet) for a vacation of sun and sand at his brother's place. Teaching summer school to kids, including attractive and hormonal Simon, 15, doesn't keep Nathan from seeing married-man Kyle's obvious ambivalence about his sexuality--a smoldering ember waiting to ignite. Kyle's confused, hurt wife, Camille, winds up drinking too much of the wine cellar Nathan inherited from dear old, abusive Dad. Add--much to Tommy's lustful appreciation--Simon to the already volatile mixture in Nathan's household, and the yearnings and entanglements extend to the school and the larger community in this smoothly written, well-paced exploration of issues of fathers and sons, forgiveness and acceptance. Whitney Scott
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