Ian McBride, a principal in a prominent repertory theater company, erected an emotional wall after his longtime lover died of AIDS. But during rehearsals for The Tempest, Jimmy Davidson, the actor playing Ariel, begins to chip away at Ian's walls. After twelve years along, Ian finds himself once again deeply and happily in love. Despite the usual bumps of any relationship, Ian and Jimmy begin to slowly weave their lives together.
But during a visit to his family's home in Kimberley, Texas, Jimmy is savagely murdered in a bias attack. Wanting revenge and needing the solace and closure he never found after his first lover's death, Ian goes to Kimberley for Jimmy's funeral and the trial. Buffeted by the media that have descended to cover the sensational case, and regarded with suspicion and distaste by the town and by Jimmy's equally bereft parents, Ian is isolated and alone with his rage, sadness, and loss. That is, until he finds an unlikely ally in the person of Jimmy's beloved grandmother, Livie, a woman of great compassion and emotional fire, and with a secret history of her own.
All We Have Is Now is a moving and powerful novel of love and loss, of hate and understanding, of grief and resolution.
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Robert Taylor, a U.S. Army captain from 1963 to 1967, served in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star. Author of The Innocent, he has been a journalist and editor of several magazines. Born and raised in Texas, he lives in Blue Hill, Maine.
Set in Washington, D.C., and Texas, Taylor's derivative sophomore effort (following The Innocent) shadows the Mathew Sheppard atrocity of 1998 in a sentimental, soap opera-styled tale of love, hate and redemption. As the story begins, narrator Ian McBride is crushed by the death of his lover of eight years, Trevor, from AIDS, while Trevor's family hides in shame. The subsequent 12 years of loneliness and depression find Ian, an actor, keeping "safe" in the "elaborately constructed defenses" of books and his theater work at the Capitol Rep in Washington, where he's cast in a production of The Tempest. Soon enough, he is impressed by and reluctantly attracted to young Jimmy Davidson (playing Ariel) and a passionate whirlwind romance ignites. Months later, a production of A Long Day's Journey into Night is on the horizon for the committed couple, but first, Jimmy heads off to his hometown in Texas for his mother's 50th birthday and never returns. He is violently killed in a hate crime that sets off a stagy, overlong courtroom trial and media circus pitting homophobic townspeople against Ian and Jimmy's family, some of whom, like Jimmy's grandmother Livie, Ian bonds with. Justice is duly served, but a mawkish, implausible conclusion undoes any legitimacy gained along the way. Taylor is capable of flourishes of moving prose, and the book's reflection of Sheppard's death evokes painful nostalgia. Readers able to overlook all of the saccharine melodrama will find a worthy narrative buried beneath, inspired by a tragedy that will forever astound and devastate.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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