'The only queer people...

by tosca on Monday, April 12, 2010

...are those who don't love anybody.'
~ Rita Mae Brown

Title: Butterfly tattoo
Author:
Deidre Knight
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year: 2009

Quote: 'When someone dies, you're left with mountains of memories. At first, you rush headling at all of them, fists opening greedily, desperate to hold onto your loved one, no matter the cost, but over time, particular snapshots come into focus. They're the ones that surface continually in your dreams and mental drifting, popping up on radar when you least expect them.'

Synopsis: BUTTERFLY TATTOO — the story of a man, grief-stricken from the death of his male lover of 12 years, who finds himself falling in love with a woman also scarred by life—is a groundbreaking novel made timely by the headlines currently surrounding love and sexual orientation. Beautiful, lyrical, tender, it does what every great book is supposed to do: it transports the reader into other people’s lives, hearts and minds. In the process, BUTTERFLY TATTOO teaches us of the universality, and boundary-free nature, of love. -- Publisher description.

What I'm reading: This isn't a review so much as it is a heads up of a title I'm reading at the moment that caught my eye (and possibly my heart - although my siblings constantly tell me I have a hard rock where said organ should live. Po-tay-to/po-tah-to. Or, as Kalani likes to tell me: Toe-may-to/po-tah-to. He's 6 - what can I say?).

Rebecca O'Neill, heroine, was a famous actress who had her own tv series. Three years earlier an obsessive fan tried to kill her and, in the effort, left her scarred. These days she works in the development/production end of television and is incredibly wary of men. Michael Warner is still grieving for his longtime partner, Alexander, after almost a year. He has become an outsider to their 12 year old daughter's life - she barely talks about Alex. She barely talks, and when she does it's usually to push Michael's buttons. His friends are convinced it's time he started living again - not necessarily dating, but certainly getting out. Rebecca and Andrea's first meeting, on set when the power goes out and Michael (hot handyman as Rebecca's friend calls him) is awkward. Andie isn't the most friendly of people. But Rebecca's facial scars are something Andie identifies with because she, herself, has a scar on her leg that from the same car accident that killed Daddy Alex. When Michael and Rebecca start to fall for each other, it has Michael questioning his sexuality and loyalty to his first love, and has Rebecca questioning her own thoughts and feelings about the depth of Michael's emotions.


Deidre Knight is sneaky! And I like it. The dynamics between Rebecca and Michael on their first meeting made me think, 'Oohh, I see where this is going.' Then Michael starts thinking about 'Allie' and I'm still going, 'Oohh, widower. Got it!' And then Andie starts talking about 'Daddy Alex' and I'm thinking, 'Huh? Oohh divorce! Two daddies.' Which is totally turned on its arse when I find out 'Allie' is a nic for 'Alex' who is really 'Alexander.' *blinks* Didn't see that coming!

Michael's chapters make me cry. Seriously. I can't help it. What the hell else am I supposed to do? His grief is so palpable: 'Sure, I still dream, but I couldn't tell Rebecca O'Neill that, because then I'd have to admit that I dream endlessly of Alex. That he's still alive, that he's come home to me at last.' Or even: 'I clutch the steering wheel tensely, the familiar silence smothering us as we edge along the 101 toward home. Long damn way there, too, at least in this kind of traffic. Really need to sell the house and move somewhere closer to the studio but I can't bring myself to do it. Can't bring myself to let go of Alex that way, not when all of our memories are tied up in that place.' *le sigh* and *le sob*

Is Michael gay? Is he bi? Is he just sexual? Does sexual orientation matter at all? If there's one thing this book is teaching me, and it's totally trite, it's that perhaps love isn't about gender. It's got nothing to do with sexual orientation. Maybe...maybe it's just about love. That's it. Whatever, wherever, whenever.

Keep a box of tissues handy if you read this - it's a major tearjerker. I've been crying on and off since chapter 2 and so far am up to chapter 10. Michael's emotions are raw and so appallingly honest (and yes, I mean appalling not appealing) but you can't help reading more. The only books I'd read of Ms. Knight's before this were paranormal romances in the 'Midnight Warriors' series and this is nothing like those. I haven't finished it yet but I'm thinking it's easily going to be a 5/5.

2 comments

can I mug you for a copy? or wait until November...

by Annie on April 14, 2010 at 7:31 AM. #

HEY :-) I can send you this one to your work building. Have only just issued it so you would get it fr 4 weeks. Who wants to wait until November? And oohh I can't wait to get my hands on ACL's romance collection - it's so much BIGGER heh

by catatonia on April 14, 2010 at 8:52 AM. #

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