Naive schoolmistress Marion first catches sight of handsome Tom in Brighton and is instantly smitten by his wholesome good looks and swimmer’s physique.
In spite of some reservations about this dashing young policeman, she is determined that her love will be enough for them both. The complication is that Tom is increasingly lured into the gay underworld of 1950’s Brighton when he meets sophisticated gay museum curator, Patrick. The ensuing love triangle has far reaching consequences for the three of them in a society where homosexuality is still illegal.
Vintage style is big business in the 21st century and one decade which brings on a warm rush of nostalgia is the 1950s. Homes are being decorated with stylish repro 50’s patterns and tweed jackets are making a comeback, but have you ever considered what it was like to be gay before the law reforms of 1967 made homosexuality legal? This pitch perfect novel captures the atmosphere of fear which surrounded being gay in 1950’s Brighton. Roberts has created a compelling and haunting story with strong credible characters which is hard not to become instantly immersed in.
The backdrop of historical detail doesn’t intrude on a great story but adds depth and colour to it. The city of Brighton is recognisable by its landmarks but alien in its climate of repression. I would heartily recommend this book as being well written and eminently readable. It’s a book which causes you to stop and think about how we view the past through a filter of our own current experiences and realise that maybe the good old days weren’t always so good for gay men.
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