A beautifully written novel exploring, among other things, what it was to be gay when Aids emerged in the 1980s.

As teenagers, Ellis and Michael were lovers, but Ellis’s marriage to Annie drew a line under all that. Now Annie has died and Ellis, a frustrated artist who paints panels in a car plant, is left alone with his memories.

He’s a repressed Lawrentian figure, complete with encouraging mum and brutish dad.

The other half of the book concerns Michael, a joyous, upbeat character despite the misery of his lovers and friends dying around him. Michael, at least, has the courage of his convictions.

It’s all terribly sad and poignant; full of grief and what-might-have-beens. 

Loot.co.za (R235)