Gurley, Michael Vance. “The Long Season”, Bold Strokes Books, 2016.
Love and Acceptance
Set in Chicago in the 1920s, we meet eighteen-year- Brett Bennet, a farm boy and hockey player want to be. He has just been drafted to the big leagues of Chicago’s first ever team. However he has a secret that comes to light when he meets Jean-Paul Moreau, a closeted goalie. As they get to know one trying to discover who they truly are, their lives are are totally changed. in ways neither can control.
Brett needs Margret to find a way to break through to Jean-Paul’s hard exterior and to deal with the high stakes in the arena of professional sports from the opening game through to the championship. The two men soon learn that they have hope of dealing with deadly threat of a man who can bring it all down with one word, but they must do so together.
Coming from a small Wisconsin town, Brett and his best friend Mickey make the big time with having been selected to play on the newly formed Chicago hockey team. They both are super-motivated and determined to be the team’s best players.
Brett Bennet and his best friend and partner on ice Mickey MacKay are chosen as the best players of a province small hockey team in Delavan, Wisconsin, to join a new ice hockey team in Chicago.They are highly motivated and ambitious to become the best players in their new team. There is another player on the team that Brett is fascinated by, Jean-Paul. Jean-Paul seems to be a loner yet Brett finds himself mysteriously drawn to him. It did not take long for Brett to find out why Jean-Paul is so cold. He learns that, like himself, Jean-Paul is gay. Brett has had no real same-sex experience and, in fact,
is unsure in his sexuality and his feelings while Jean-Paul knows exactly what he wants and where he can get it. In order to satisfy his sexual needs, he has been leading a secret double-life. Margret is his best friend and is a perfect cover for this double life.
Soon Jean-Paul introduces Brett to the nightlife in the underground clubs of Chicago and Brett soon falls in love with him. However, Jean-Paul is known to be a famous heart breaker and is not looking for a relationship. He does not want commitment. Brett is not ready to give up so easily. What he chooses to do might not sit well with some of us but we do want to see the two men together.
Writer Michael Vance Gurley successfully brings romance’ and hockey together and shows that in John-Paul’s mind. Romance and love are not what he is entitled to and he has accepted the fact he’s not supposed to have love — with old-time hockey and the roaring twenties. I do wish, however, that the characters had been a bit more developed.