Baker, John Roman. “Nick & Greg” (“Nick & Greg Books”), Wilkinson House, 2016.
The First in a Trilogy
Set in Brighton, England in the late 1950s, we meet Nick and Greg who themselves just met one day after school. Brighton was an exciting and dangerous place back yet they made it their playground. As they run around town with the innocence of youth, they discovered not just the secrets of Brighton but also their deep love and passionate desires for each other.
They learn that there is gay life in Brighton and that it thrives there even though it is illegal according to the law at the time. What is there is hidden behind closed doors and neither seen or spoken of. Nick wants to learn about his sexuality and begins to read all that he can and he looks for other gays to befriend. Greg, however, is held in because of his family and his own sense of uneasiness and soon begins to show signs of self-destructive behavior that could really hurt his mental state.
John Roman Baker does a wonderful and brutally honest job of sharing the lives of two young teens who grew up at a time when being gay was very different than it is today. I have always found interesting to learn how gay people in other parts of the world deal with their sexuality and here we see how it was in Brighton. There is truth and there is wit in depicting that. Since this is the first book in the trilogy, we know that the two friends we meet here will be back with more of their story and I can’t wait to read about them again. I found this to be a special treat and eagerly await “Time of Obsessions” and “Dangerous Seas”.