From Publishers Weekly
Harris takes a sympathetic look at the difficulty of reconciling homosexuality and faith in the black church in his lively ninth novel. Thirty-eight-year old Chauncey Greer classifies his heft sexual appetite as "basically bi with a gay leaning;" but also needs a personal relationship with God. Once a member of a boy band called Reunion (his deeply felt love affair with fellow bandmate Sweet D precipitated its breakup), Chauncey now owns a successful Atlanta-based greeting card company. Chauncey is a regular at the progressive Abundant Joy Baptist Church, where Pastor Kenneth's inspired preaching reignites his dreams of a singing career. After Chauncey sings a soul-stirring solo at church, the pastor invites him to perform at an upcoming revival led by the fundamentalist Bishop Upchurch and his vindictive wife Grayson. But Chauncey's friends plan to boycott the revival because of the Upchurches' gay-bashing, and Chauncey must decide between his passion for singing and his personal identity-a decision complicated by the reappearance of a figure from his past. Though supporting characters remain flat, Harris (A Love of My Own) illuminates a divide in the black church while exploring the universal theme of broken love.
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Chauncey Greer operates a successful card company in Atlanta, Cute Boy Cards, with a specialty line for bisexuals and homosexuals. His relationships are casual because he can't get over his first true love and the betrayal that broke them apart. Chauncey decides to renew a dormant singing career, and his pastor asks him to debut at the church. Abundant Joy is a modest church that members fear may be on the brink of turning mega. Chauncey, like so many other members, fled Atlanta's mega-churches with their emphasis on prosperity at the expense of spirituality and decidedly anti-gay messages. When the pastor asks Chauncey to perform at an upcoming revival, Chauncey finds himself caught between the guest speaker, Bishop Upchurch, a fiery minister who is running for the U.S. Senate on an anti-gay marriage platform, and members of his church, who oppose Upchurch's message. Chauncey learns through friends the myriad paths traveled and entanglements faced by other members of Atlanta's black homosexual community; and he learns that Bishop Upchurch is a figure with his own troubled past. As Chauncey struggles with these issues, he eventually makes peace with his past. Harris, who revealed the down-low practice of ostensible heterosexuals living secret lives as gay men, now offers insight into the struggle within the black church concerning gay rights. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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