Provenzano, Jim. “Now I’m Here”, Beautiful Dreamer Press, 2018.
Finding and Falling in Love
Welcome to Serene, Ohio and small town America. Our story begins in the 1970s and carries us through the year 2000. We meet Joshua and David, two young boys from different families who eventually find each other and then lose each other for the following thirty years. Joshua was raised in a stable middle-class family while David is the product of an abusive and alcoholic father. Eric Gottlund narrates the story and he had his own special relationship with Joshua and David. In fact, he was the one who brought David and Jonathan back to Serene at a time during which the town was experiencing its first pains of urban life encroaching a new kind of lifestyle. as a suburb. As change comes, memories fade and so Eric wants to being his two friends back before they are lost to time. In the past David and Joshua had had to fight not only overt homophobia but religious prejudice as well as small mindedness, rehabilitation therapy and the temptations of fame and fortune and the AIDS epidemic, We are with the two boys as they love and learn. I found it impossible not to love our three main characters especially since we have watched then grow into adults.
Because of the pure and beautiful love they share, they become symbols of the struggle to stay together. I do want to point out that I am so glad that Provenzano included the AIDS epidemic in his story. It is a very important part of our history that must never be forgotten. Something else that I am happy to see here is that we have a gay male writer writing a gay male love story and we cannot feel but feel the emotions that he has poured into his characters. Not only is this the story about us and by one of us, it is so much more than that. We live in a world where everyone seems to want to write a book and then tries to do so. Within our community we have a small and special group of LGBT fiction writers that indeed write their stories to share with us. That is how I have always felt about the books by Provenzano. It is almost as he is the scribe for our community and each book brings something new.
There is another theme here that I want to mention. This is a book about memory/memories. One of my favorite opening monologues comes from “The Glass Menagerie” when Tom says to the audience that the play is memory and that memory always happens to music. We tend to remember certain events in our lives based upon the music that was popular at the time. Music, especially English rock music and the band Queen are important to the story here.
While this is a small story, it is also as Mark Abramson says, “an epic story” that captivates the reader and holds him. It is not a story that will be easily forgotten; it will stay with you long after you have closed the covers. I also found it to be quite a personal story and that is why I have not shared much of the plot. I want you to have the same pleasure I did reading “Now I’m Here”.