The new novel by the bestselling author of Hold Tight, this brilliant comedy of manners set among a group of Manhattan sophisticates depicts the friends of a dead filmmaker trying to put their lives back together--a task made more arduous by the young boyfriend he left behind.
A solid account of the friends and anguished young lover of a filmmaker who died of AIDS. The action takes place a year after Clarence Laird's (Angel Clare's) death. Boyfriend Michael, lost without Clare, is stuck in his grief, while Jack, Clare's best friend, reviews movies and books, "groping for peeves to turn into metaphors that could be puzzled together into something resembling reason." The narrative subseqently shifts between flashbacks to Clare's life and Michael's tortured journey to a suicide attempt. Jack, Michael's housemates Laurie and Carla, and suburban couple Ben and Danny are irritated with Michael because - according to Jack - he "was behaving in a way they felt they should behave." Michael moons over Clare's letters, stays for a while with fractious couple Ben and Danny, and leaves in a sulk when Carla and Laurie gently tell him he should look for another place. With Jack, Michael engages in a typical I-loved-him-more-than-you routine, but the narrative is textured with much credible detail on the post-AIDS gay subculture and builds effectively to the suicide attempt: Michael takes a drunken tour of New York's haunts and gay bars; the story cuts to Clare's illness and last days; and at last Michael - once he turns up - slashes his wrists in Jack's bathtub. Guilt-ridden Jack ("That Clarence had AIDS and Jack was spared seemed like the final proof that Clarence had lived a full life and Jack hadn't") and Michael survive; and at a final dinner party, Michael, now staying with Jack, is still very much a narcissistic product of his times. The characters occasionally come across as types, but mostly Bram (Surprising Myself; Hold Tight) credibly explores the guilty and sometimes jealous aftermath of grief. (Kirkus Reviews)