Centrone, Brian. “An Ordinary Boy”, Seventh Window Publications , 2013.
Tom Grove seems to have it all—money, good looks, etc but he feels that he does not fit in anywhere. He was raised the son of rich parents, his grandparents are famous and he can have whatever he wants. Yet what he really wants seems to elude him. His father has certain expectations, his mother makes demands and his older brother seems to have nothing nice to say to him. All Tom wants is to be one of the guys, “an ordinary boy” who is well liked.
Tom felt that going to college and getting away from home would give him the chance to come out and he would some really nice college guys but his roommate is straight (and a jock), the gay student organization has attracted those who seem not to fit anywhere and dating means having sex. So much for his independence and he discovers that the life he thought would be so glamorous. I love this quote by the author, “life is less like an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog and more like the everyday low prices of Wal-Mart”. He soon learns that being independent includes some heartache, several bad experiences and a lot of broken hearts. “The path to true love never does run smooth”.
For many, Tom’s life would be a dream but for Tom it is a nightmare. I love the way Brian Centrone created Tom—most of us can find a little of ourselves in him. Tom realizes the he does not know what the word “love” means and no matter how hard he tries, he understands it less.
I always thought that the college years provide the best times and Tom also felt that way until he actually found himself in the middle of them and nothing seems to have changed. But I am not going to tell you any more about the plot because I do not want to spoil an excellent read. What I will say is (and we all know this) that the road of live has some very large boulders and we have to learn to either push them out of the way or walk around them.