A Provincetown Fantasia
Fleeing New York City and an abusive partner, would-be writer Marc Nugent finds work at HomePort, the Provincetown mansion of Lola Staunton, a fabulously wealthy recluse. Aided by an attractive-but-unattainable artist and an all-too-available cross-dresser, Marc investigates accusations of rape and murder that have estranged Lola from a childhood friend for more than sixty years. Past and present converge when a long-lost journal reveals tales of infidelity, adultery, and passion that mirror the life Marc has recently abandoned. When his ex-lover arrives in search of revenge, Marc must confront his past, his notions of family, and his capacity for love.
- 2 To Be Read lists
Publisher: HomePort Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay, Genderfluid
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 3 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Love Can Heal / Redemption
Word Count: 85,000
Setting: Provincetown, MA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
When an aspiring writer in full retreat from an abusive relationship meets two eccentric and ‘don’t take no for an answer’ denizens of Provincetown and environs, the stage is set for a charming, quirky dramady filled with unusual—and sometimes outrageous—characters. The stage setting is atmospheric, engaging, and painted with loving authenticity, merging past and present with lush descriptions and wry observations on how things change, how they remain the same.
The estranged dowagers, Lola and Dorrie, are the kingpins around whom the plots within plots revolve. They have history neither is comfortable talking about, yet after Marc Nugent is given refuge he becomes the catalyst for setting events in motion that reveal the secrets and lies that have informed their sixty-odd year relationship. I absolutely adored these two strong, opinionated women—their compassion, insight and unwavering devotion to tradition and service to their community grounds every scene with a grace and style reminiscent of another day and age.
The Homeport Journals is at once a romance, a mystery and a coming-of-age tale that touches on so many facets of the human experience that I was, quite simply, blown away. Marc and Cole are young men trapped inside their own insecurities and fears. Alone they face their inner turmoils with denial or soul-numbing acquiescence; together they discover that friendship and love are
but two of the many ways to reach out and embrace a larger world of acceptance and understanding.
Helena is the delightful, outrageous, captivating cross-dresser whose flashes of dual identities present a sometimes terrifying glimpse into what it’s like to wear one skin over two personalities. She is gloriously over-the-top, heart-wrenchingly vulnerable, and prone to the kind of drama that makes for some of the most memorable moments in this story.
The Homeport Journals is also, at its core, a lesson in how the past insinuates the present, when those who went before were faced with choices that altered forever their place in history. As Marc, Cole and Helena conspire to piece together past events in order to understand a reality turned rigid and uncompromising, they uncover a tale of betrayal, abuse and infidelity buried in memory.
Through it all, Marc lives with a dark fear that the man he fled from will seek him out and ruin all he has worked to achieve—a home, friends, a place in the community. When his worst fears materialize, Marc confronts more than just an abuser, putting to the test all that he has learned about himself and the people who matter in his world.
This is a poignant, beautifully written story, filled with wonderful personalities who will capture your heart. There is depth and breadth to the characters, each drawn with perception and dignity, so much so you recognize at once the humanity and soul residing within each one. You care, deeply, about them, about their history, about the place that insinuates the very fiber of their being. And as the mystery unfolds, the pacing and clues and revelations seamlessly draw the reader in. The narrative prose is crafted so perfectly that past and present exist side-by-side, their interconnectedness a revelation and a comfort.
This is a literary work of exceptional merit. It is epic in nature, yet intensely intimate in execution, gorgeously rendered in exquisite detail, and told with heart-felt honesty. It bears a message of hope and love, compassion and tolerance, of simple joys and overcoming the roadblocks life sometimes thrusts in your path.
I loved The Homeport Journals, unreservedly, and give it my highest recommendation.