July 31, 2007

Welcome Back Home

Armistead Maupin has for years been one of my most beloved authors. Through his Tales of the City series (set in San Francisco), I grew to know and love a fictional family of friends. Anna, Mona, Brian and Mary Ann felt almost real - like pen pals that I was keeping in touch with across the miles.

So it was with great joy and excitement that I heard he had returned to the residents of Barbary Lane after more than 20 years. This one focuses just on the character of Michael, hence the title Michael Tolliver Lives. And although we catch glimpses of Michael's old friends, this novel is a moving love story for a couple that has been together for years. Michael and his younger husband Ben represent what we all hope for - unquestioning acceptance, unbridled lust, and unwavering loyalty. I found that just by reading the book, I was falling deeper in love with my own husband (if such a thing is possible).

I have a feeling that the book is a semi-autobiographical ode to Maupin's real-life partner, Christopher Turner. I hope that the love expressed in the novel is just as manifest in his own life.

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