When only fifteen, Rory Blaine was outed and ousted - cast from Mount Royal by his formidable one-legged Fascist grandmother. Now, thirty years later, he has unexpectedly inherited the family mansion. What delicious irony to convert it into a retirement home for gays!
All the way through, the novel delights with its wit and colourful characters. Unexpectedly one in particular almost steals the show: Rory's former school matron straightlaced Elspeth Wishart branches out awesomely. (If ever filmed, this is surely a role to be fought over by the country's leading veteran actresses.)
Serious matters underpin the fun. People deserve lives free from prejudice. Note that television interview where aging pop idol Vic d'Orsay is confronted by a bishop declaring exactly what God thinks of people like him.
Surprises, shocks and tragedy feature amidst so much that richly amuses. The central theme I found moving. Rory, admittedly at a great price, is creating a real home for those perhaps disowned by relatives once their sexual preference became known. Ever since so many have drifted. Instead of their facing ever-increasing loneliness, Rory is ensuring the Autumn of their lives becomes an Indian Summer.
No way is this a novel to be read quickly, it crammed with moments to savour. Paragraph two on page one will have many laughing aloud, the first of a whole procession of hilarious treats.