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Comfort and Joy alternates scenes of Ford and Dan's courtship with their trip to North Carolina to meet Dan's family. Like any couple anywhere, they argue about money and their families; unlike some couples, they also argue about Dan's health and Ford's reluctance to kiss. In chronicling their history, however, Grimsley gets at something fundamental: the strange mixture of love and hate and anxiety at the bottom of every relationship, gay or straight. "You're really not as bright as I am and that's a problem," they both think, being "honest" with themselves, then wonder: "Why do men stay together?" The easy answer, of course, is that they love each other. The more complicated one is that, in living together, they've begun to dream the same dreams, breathe in rhythm, lay down "crevices" inside themselves in the shapes of each other. This, Dan thinks, is enough: "enough, without words, to keep them silent about the fact of their hates and their fears, their deep concerns about each other, and the certainty that one of them would die first and neither of them knew which one it would be."
The novel's prose is workmanlike at its best, but Grimsley's understanding of the human heart is deep and rich. His book refuses easy answers and stereotypes; for example, the mysterious trauma in Dan's childhood stays in the background, where it belongs. A lesser writer would have chosen to make its revelation the book's climax--the epiphany that explains Dan's character--but Grimsley knows that childhood pain is only one of many things that make us who we are. Such is the difference between fiction that seeks to tell us who we are and fiction that knows what a mystery we are at our core. Comfort and Joy is not just a book for gay readers: it's a book for everyone who's ever been in love, who's ever had a family, who's ever wanted to find some kind of refuge from the world. --Chloe Byrne --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I found this to be an expertly toned story of two men, cautiously tiptoeing towards declaring their love for each other. Read morePublished 1 month ago by PolyglotLit
Continuing to follow the life of Danny Crell, introduced in his debut, Winter Birds, Grimsley has written his fullest and most humane novel yet, a work whose commendable restraint... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Pageturner in NYC
Comfort and Joy was recommended by a few on the m/m romance forum here on Amazon. So I decided to try and went into it not reading anything about it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Daniel Bowen
Started this book before bed, wrong decision. Finally went to sleep with this little page turner. Started back up bright and early. Read morePublished 11 months ago by shelbel46
Waste of time. Amateurish effort. Completely unlikeable couple. Fluffed with unnecessary details. I really see nothing good to recommend about this book.Published 11 months ago by Kenneth R. Brown