Friday, December 20, 2013

When Love Comes to Town

When Love Comes to Town
by Tom Lennon

It's the 90's in Dublin, Ireland, and Neil Byrne is finally becoming who he was always meant to be.  He's finishing his exams and preparing for his future.

He's also preparing to live as a gay man instead of hiding as a gay teen.

For the first time in his life, Neil starts to go out and meet other gay men to try and figure out this society that's eluded him all this time, but in which he feels he belongs.

Surrounded by family and school friends who constantly disparage gays and tell off-color jokes, Neil's more than a little afraid of what will happen if the truth gets out.

But what will happen to his heart and soul if he never is true to himself?

Final thoughts:  Interesting take on the problems of one teen coming to grips with his own being, as well as the fears and prejudices of those around him.  Just twenty years after it was written, it's hard to imagine what it must have been like for a teen in heavily Catholic Ireland before social media and cell phones, let alone what it must have been like for a gay teen.  Sadly, Neil is never really a sympathetic character and the constant interior monologues, especially toward the end, become difficult to follow.  It felt more like the author didn't want to take the time to describe certain scenes, so he just had Neil stream-of-consciousness monologue those moments. OK for today's teens, but probably much more impactful when it was originally written in 1993.

Rating: 3/5

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