- File Size: 5306 KB
- Print Length: 284 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1543167942
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: February 19, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06WLQG3YJ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,247 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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The One Who Taught Me Everything (True To Myself Memoir Book 1) Kindle Edition
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As he tangles with emotions about his sexuality, he by chance befriends another young man who was gay while on a date with his girlfriend. As John learns from Richard, within weeks he falls in love and Richard, loves John. The heartache that follows their relationship becomes oppressive.
Richard wants John to be openly gay when he’s with him and John just cannot do it. He’s afraid of the outcome in the small town. Plus his father would be furious. It’s expected that John take over his father’s business, but John wants other things, he wanted to be a writer.
Richard encourages John to go to college to further his writing. John gets the courage and signs up for classes in writing. His father was angry, he wanted John to take over the family business like his great-grandfather, his grandfather and then his father. He didn’t let John come back to work after that and hurt John’s feelings. I could see where his father would kick him out if he found out he was gay. John did tell his mother.
There were moments of pure happiness and a lot of moments of sadness. I had to keep reminding myself that the journal was written in 1964-65 and things were a lot more difficult to be openly gay, than it is today. Sometimes it could even be fatal. So I could understand John reluctance to come out of his closet.
John went home after a terrible experience on campus after being exposed as gay. It was John’s lover, Jerry who also hid in the closet because he was a football player. It happened the day that John broke up with him to be with Richard again. Richard who brought only happiness into his life and wanted to stay forever with him as Richard did with John.
Then John’s father dies and he has to make a decision to sell the business or take it over as his father wanted. He chose the latter which broke my heart he turned away from his dreams of becoming a writer which in turn he would not be able to be with Richard. I suspect he did this more out of guilt and followed his father’s wishes.
The break-up between John and Richard torn my heart apart, but Noah had written it beautifully. I had seen the signs in the writing long before it happened.
For me? I would not normal choose a book like this to read. There’s too much oppression and downright heartbreak without a happy ending. But that is life in a nut shell, isn’t it? We can’t always have what we want. For me, as far as John, he just wasn’t strong enough to accept himself openly and lost Richard, both deeply in love with each other. It’s always easy to judge what John should have done and another when you’re the person living it.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
This book runs the gambit of emotions hope, love, anger and bitter pain. But in it all comes a quiet sense of truth. Truth to self that is at one time heartbreaking and at another sweet. John understands that though he is in love with Richard he's not ready in a way that honors their relationship.
How many of us has had to face the same choice? To love someone with all you are or ever will be only to have to let them go for whatever reason. It's a hard thing to do. But sometimes it's what you have no choice but to find the courage to do. To walk away from them or allow them to walk away from you. That's the journey of this book and the utter heartbreaking beauty of it.
In this book John again explores the interstices of M/M relationships, offering more psychological insight into relationships in general than most other authors no matter their genre. His prose grows more refined with each book and he understands that valuable asset of introducing the reader in a comfortable manner to the personalities of his characters: ‘I haven’t worked on a journal in years, but for some reason, I feel like I should start again. Sometimes I get these feelings like I know my life is about to get going, like something really important is going to happen, and maybe when I’m older, I’ll like looking back at this time fondly. Or maybe whatever is coming will be horrible, I’m not really sure. In any case, I’ve picked up a pen and found my old journal, and here I go again. My father keeps a journal, and he was the one who got me doing it when I was a kid. His handwriting is small and neat, and mine is sprawling and messy. Keeping a journal would be one of the only things we have in common. “John,” he said when I was nine, “It’s important to document things. We aren’t famous, and we’re the only ones who will document it. No one will do it for us.”
This is a novel to read slowly, allowing the nuances of the developing discoveries and confrontations to be revealed with empathy for our main character. Jon’s synopsis offers the plot facts – ‘John is a Midwest young man unsure of where his life is taking him. He has a girlfriend he doesn’t love, and he works for his father even though he’d rather be writing. The story is told through John’s own words, taking the form of a diary he begins to keep as his spirit darkens. That same spirit seems to soar however after he meets Richard, a caring, smart, and good looking gay man who makes John realize he may just be gay himself. He gives in to his true desires, and his relationship with Richard is the backbone of the new man John hopes to be. He goes to college with plans to become a writer, and he and Richard seemed destined for a long and wonderful love. But things don’t always turn out the way we may hope. Richard doesn’t want to keep their relationship a secret, and John isn’t willing to come out to anyone. And when tragedy strikes, John realizes that a man always has things that are expected of him, even if they’re at odds with the things he wants for himself. Can a great love survive heartbreak and loss? Or will The One Who Taught Me Everything also be the one who got away?’
Even for those who have read most all of John Harris’ books this novel is an experience that deserves close attention, not a fast read, but a private time, alone, to truly appreciate the structure and message of this fine book. ‘Someday, I hope I can be the man I want to be, and the man I know that I can be. I guess we’ll see.’
And if this is Book 1 then perhaps John (of the book) will finally find a satisfying love relationship. We want that for him. Grady Harp, February 17
Most recent customer reviews
This book allowed the reader insight into many of the issues that gay individuals deal with over the issue of coming out.Read more