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Searching For Gilead: A Novel Paperback – 23 Sep 2011
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About the Author
David G. Hallman worked in environmental ethics and has written six nonfiction books, including his memoir, August Farewell, in which vignettes from his thirty-three-year relationship with his gay partner are integrated into an intimate chronology of the final two weeks of his partner's life. He lives in Toronto.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The novel is broken into five sections spanning the 33-year relationship of Tommy and Jonathan's relationship. Yet the novel not only focuses on their relationship but the lives of their friends, families, careers, joys, struggles and tragedies.
I was drawn into this book very early on, about page 20. The characters are debating setting up a joint library. It was such a realistic scene that anyone could be living at any moment. It was that scene that made me fall in love with the characters, and made me wish that they were real people. I didn't want this novel to end; I read it slower than I've ever read a novel that I didn't hate. I savored this book. It is exquisite.
I had such an emotional response to this book that it may have bordered on the ridiculous. I read the second have in bed and more than once succumbed to tears. It took me hours to articulate how I felt about this book, to feel like I was doing it justice. While I know that some readers may be turned off by the fact that there are gay characters, but I will say that had this book featured a straight couple, I would have enjoyed it just as much.
I have only two negative comments about the book and they are quite superficial. The formatting of the page numbers at the top of the page near the section header stating the year of the section was a bit annoying to me. If I looked quick, I became confused. Secondly, I wish that we knew more of what happened between when one section ended and another picked up several years later. I love that the plot was set up to cover parts of their relationship, but I would have loved for the novel to cover the entire 33 years in more detail. I realize that had such scenes been included, the novel probably would have been quite the chunkster...but I'd still read it.
I'm very proud that this book has a place on my shelf.
Hallman is a master of storytelling, using his craft to entertain, excite, intrigue or make us fall in love with the characters and their stories. As a result, we have a chance to share their laughter and sorrows. Through it all, we gather a more open, understanding and accepting image of the world.
Searching for GILEAD is a must-read for any season. An absolute gift to oneself or a loved one.