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All the Beauty of the Sun (Boy I Love Trilogy 2) (The Boy I Love Trilogy) Paperback – 7 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press Ltd (7 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190826201X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908262011
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Having had a few short stories published, in 2001 I was accepted on to the MA in Creative Writing at Northumbria University, a two-year, part time course that covered both poetry and prose. In 2003 I graduated with a distinction and won the Blackwell Prize for Best Performance. Whilst I was on the course I finished my first novel The Boy I Love, which was published in July 2005 and went on to the top the Independent Publisher chart on Amazon. Since then I have had three more novels published: Paper Moon, (which won the Andrea Badenoch Award) Say You Love Me and The Good Father (which was long-listed for the Impac Prize). In 2003 Mudfog published a collection of my poetry, Service. At the moment I am working on my fifth novel. I also teach writing at Adult Education colleges and have taught on the MA courses for Teesside, Northumbria and Newcastle universities - teaching writing to students of all abilities and trying to draw out the best in their writing. I am often asked to read my work in venues throughout the country.

The previous paragraph reads as though my writing has always met with success, but of course before those 'few short stories' were published I struggled for many years - writing and destroying a couple of novels, discarding still more after a few pages, sending other novels off to agents and publishers with a great deal of hope and finger-crossing (and other magical thinking). Rejections followed; I'd write some more, give up, cry, start again, cry, start again. To be a published writer demands persistence and I would say a thick skin, but I'm not sure I have one of those, more an ability to get over the disappointments and convince myself that rejections aren't meant personally, however much they hurt. My consolation was (and is - as rejections remain part of my life) that I tried my best, and wrote what I wanted to write about in my own way. I write about relationships, mainly those between brothers and fathers and sons; I write a lot about sexual relationships, too: jealousies and obsessions, adultery and promiscuity. I'm very interested in war, and how men returning from war are treated and how they attempt to fit back into civilian life.

I live near Middlesbough in north east England, am 48, married (since 1985) with two children - Kay, aged 24, and Greg, 23. There's a bit about me on the web if you google my name, including a few reviews of my novels.

Product Description

Review

"The story is well researched and has lots of detail and emotion. It moves on at a cracking pace and keeps the reader's interest so much that it could easily be read in one or two sessions." -- Barbara Goldie Historical Review Society A superbly written book, this is a poignant and very readable novel. The rich, colourful and complex characters bring this story of homosexuality in post-First World War Britain to life. It is the second in a trilogy, the first being The Boy I Love and the third Paper Moon. The story is well researched and has lots of detail and emotion. It moves on at a cracking pace and keeps the reader's interest so much that it could easily be read in one or two sessions. The themes are dealt with sensitively, and plotlines are juggled well. The story of Paul Harris develops as he returns from Tangiers, where he has been living with Patrick, his sergeant in the war. Unsure whether he has made the correct decision, he has returned to London to show his paintings in an art gallery. He is an ex-convict and, if his homosexuality is exposed, he will be in danger. Other characters interweave with Paul: Edmund, whom he is drawn to; Lawrence, the gallery owner; Ann, the artist's model; Matthew, with his many years in hospital; and Joseph, who is a love rival for Ann. With beautifully written multiple narratives, the characters deal with their changed lives in the years after the First World War. Twists and turns along the way make the book a compelling read. It keeps its reader's attention and is difficult to put down once started: an excellent book which does not shy away from the realities of life. Although it is part of a trilogy, it reads just as well as a standalone novel and will have the reader searching out the other two books. -- Lucienne Boyce Historical Novel Society

About the Author

Marion Husband is a compassionate and compelling writer exploring the complexities of human nature with great empathy. Her debut novel The Boy I Love, the first in the three part The Boy I Love Trilogy, won the Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award and The Blackwell Prize. Her other novels include The Good Father and Say You Love Me. She is married with two grown-up children and teaches creative writing.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erastes on 14 July 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a sequel of sorts to Husband's "The Boy I Love" which I reviewed in 2007. It's a little confusing because the three books in the series, "The Boy I Love", "Paper Moon", and "All the Beauty of the Sun" were written in the order above, but the timeline is: "The Boy I Love", "All the Beauty of the Sun" and "Paper Moon". This is important if you were setting off to read them all in order--and I highly recommend you do because these books are stellar. Simply the pinnacle of gay historical fiction.
Husband's prose suits me perfectly, I'm quite aware that this more literary style won't be everyone's cup of tea but I find her level of detail, her love for the minutiae in the depth of great emotion to be one of her greatest assets. She's not content with someone walking with some distress through London streets; with skillful use of layering detail on detail she brings the scene to live through sights, scents, sounds, even touch. The effect of this is not only to show the protagonists emotional state, which literary fiction must rely on, but to immerse you entirely into the scene, sometimes you feel so close that you wonder that the characters can't see you, peering in on them.

Paul Harris, whose story is more or less the mutual thread in the series, has returned from Tangiers, where he's been living in exile with his lover, Patrick, in order to show his war paintings in a London gallery and hopefully to sell them. He's uncertain as to whether the trip was sensible--he's an ex convict, and would be in danger one again should his homosexuality be exposed again--and he's left Patrick behind.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emma on 15 Jun 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I read the first book in this series (The Boy I love Trilogy) called The Boy I Love, and was anxiously waiting for an opportunity to read part 2. Fortunately, some time came available for me to read this fantastic part 2, which I finished just within a few hours (holidays are the best time to do reading).

This book seems to start where the other book left off, and it builds on the events that occurred in the first book. Again, the author did an extremely well job by describing in detail the life of a homosexual person, living almost 90 years ago, in a time where homosexuality was not expected as it is now. Add to that having to take care of his brother's wife, and you have a really well composed story with multiple story lines, twists and events that one could not have foreseen.

I am looking forward to reading part 3 as soon as possible.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Husband is a real talent 14 July 2012
By Erastes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a sequel of sorts to Husband's "The Boy I Love" which I reviewed in 2007. It's a little confusing because the three books in the series, "The Boy I Love", "Paper Moon", and "All the Beauty of the Sun" were written in the order above, but the timeline is: "The Boy I Love", "All the Beauty of the Sun" and "Paper Moon". This is important if you were setting off to read them all in order--and I highly recommend you do because these books are stellar. Simply the pinnacle of gay historical fiction.

Husband's prose suits me perfectly, I'm quite aware that this more literary style won't be everyone's cup of tea but I find her level of detail, her love for the minutiae in the depth of great emotion to be one of her greatest assets. She's not content with someone walking with some distress through London streets; with skillful use of layering detail on detail she brings the scene to live through sights, scents, sounds, even touch. The effect of this is not only to show the protagonists emotional state, which literary fiction must rely on, but to immerse you entirely into the scene, sometimes you feel so close that you wonder that the characters can't see you, peering in on them.

Paul Harris, whose story is more or less the mutual thread in the series, has returned from Tangiers, where he's been living in exile with his lover, Patrick, in order to show his war paintings in a London gallery and hopefully to sell them. He's uncertain as to whether the trip was sensible--he's an ex convict, and would be in danger one again should his homosexuality be exposed again--and he's left Patrick behind. He is anchored with Patrick--Patrick was his sargeant in the war, and Paul learned in the trenches to rely on Patrick--and it is Patrick that pulled Paul out of more than one terrible problems in the previous book.

Sadly though, Paul is very much "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you are with" so anyone who dislikes this ethos might want to avoid.

His story interweaves with the others in the story. Ann, the "good time girl" and artists' model, Lawrence, straight but probably more on his wavelength than any, the gallery owner and artist, Joseph Day, love rival for Ann, and Edmund, public schoolboy and bi-curious gay virgin. Some of it is written in third person, some in first, some in stream of conciousness, so if that literary style isn't for you, you might not want to try it, but I think you should because the writing is so utterly beautiful.

Even when it is recounting the worst of times--death in the trenches being one dark subject, the prose remains clear and honest. This isn't--for those who find World War One unreadable--something that dwells heavily on the trenches. It's mentioned and obviously the effects of the war still resonate with everyone, physically and mentally, but it's not the only factor. Paul has more demons than just the war, oh yes indeed.

I can't help but care for Paul passionately. I felt tremendously sorry for him, and the things he does in London were unwise, but I felt he was a leaf, blown about by fate and he didn't have the fibre to hold himself upright. I think any pretty young man would have captured him. Despite what he purports to feel about Edmund, I was never fully convinced--I don't think he could separate love and sex, and Edmund was relatively untouched by the war. He lost a brother, but he was too young to have been in himself. Perhaps it is that aspect of Edmund that draws Paul, like a moth to a flame.

I did find the relationships rather confusing, and they lent heavily on coincidence. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. Ann for example, who Paul has only met through Lawrence and Edmund, knows--and has had a relationship with--Matthew, a man who has spent years in hospital, the war drove him mad.

It's hard to describe the plot, because other than the thread of Paul of Edmund there isn't really much of one--but that's no detriment. Rather it's a "slice of life" we start watching these characters at a certain point, and we stop at a certain point. There's no definitive ending, no neat tying up of plot lines, because this deals with life, and of course life doesn't have genre ending.

All of the characters--and there are more than I've described, all of whom are connected to Paul in some way or other--are fully fleshed out, their actions and reactions explored and consequences--or the threat of consequences--worried about. I take my hat off to Husband, because she is a master juggler of plotlines, how she does it, and with such a deft touch is beyond me.

So, don't miss this series--if you love the power of words, words rich in layer and tone without swamping themselves in the morass of "this is literature" you will love them. Can't recommend them enough.

As a final note, I have to mention the covers. The trilogy has been republished by Accent Press with new covers and they are terribly misleading. On each cover (as you can see) there's a close up of a beautiful woman with a war/London backdrop. Seeing that in a bookshop makes one think that you are getting a standard women's fiction book or a romance. Granted, the back makes it clear that the story revolves around Paul and his loves but the cover? It's baffling. If the publisher was actually afraid to put a picture of a man on "The Boy I Love" and "All the Beauty of the Sun" then it's rather misrepresenting, and once a reader buys a book thinking it's one thing and finds that actually it's gay romance with some scenes with more description than the average non-gay-fiction-reader can cope with, they probably won't come back. I would have much preferred a more honest cover, but this doesn't affect the five star mark, of course.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bravo Ms Husband! 10 July 2012
By Papermoon aka Ste - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This new title in the series is set in plot/time between Husband's novels The Boy I Love and Paper Moon. 1925 - the period between the great wars - Lawrence Hawker, a successful gallery owner stages the first exhibition of works by a painter highly recommended by a mutual friend. The paintings depict wartime portraits of soldiers in the trenches in painful yet tender poses/scenario - some with controversial homo-erotic overtones. Thus sets the stage for the return of Paul Harris, who leaves behind lover and protector Patrick, as he's lured back to his homeland from his North African exile by potential fame and fortune but has to face old ghosts and past misdeeds.

Husband re-introduces characters from The Boy I Love (Paul's father, his son, his ex-in-laws, war-buddies) but also introduces an exciting cast of new characters associated with the art world - Ann (ingénue, model), Edmund (very young, aimless wannabe artist), Joseph (up-and-coming painter who's fighting Edmund for Ann's attentions). With sinister-like behind-the-scenes machinations is Matthew (ex-priest, ex-soldier, ruined mind) whose connection to several of these afore-mentioned characters go far deeper and darker than can be imagined. Despite his resolve - Paul falls into a heady affair with the much younger Edmund, who's exploring his sexuality and seeking new direction for his life. George Harris acts against better judgement when he reunites Paul with Bobby, his own `son' left behind when he escaped overseas from homosexual persecution - will this act lead to further heartache and disaster. New choices face Paul when torn between having or losing his son all over again, and to what extent does his recent infatuation with Edmund impact on his long-time relationship with Patrick. And what will the faithful, loyal Patrick do when he also returns to London to retrieve Paul from the dilemmas and disasters of his own making?

Marion Husband writes complicated, conflicted characters brilliantly - they straddle the very fine line between maudlin and overly-tortured. She brings to life the indecision, flawed desires and wanton passion, good intentions and broken resolutions of all her gay / straight / male / female characters. Strong character development and back-stories are capably provided for all main and secondary characters, and as usual, the resolution for many of their storylines remain unpredictable and tension provoking until the satisfying end.

All The Beauty Of The Sun can be read without reference to others in Husband's series, but I urge readers to make every attempt to read The Boy I Love before attempting this. All my expectations for a riveting character-driven read were fulfilled by the author yet again.
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