Official Review: Forgive and Forget by Vincent Burke

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B Creech
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Official Review: Forgive and Forget by Vincent Burke

Post by B Creech »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Forgive and Forget" by Vincent Burke.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Vincent Burke looks back on his life in his book Forgive and Forget: A Gay Man's Memoir and analyzes how he has lived. Now in his eighties, he wants to rate his life on a scale of one to ten. He asked himself if he is ready to forgive and forget.

In the twentieth century, if you were gay, you kept it hidden, even from family. There was so much bias and discrimination; it wasn't safe to be known as gay, so Vincent lived a double life. His father deserted the family when Vincent was three, so his life with his mother and sister was a pretense of being straight. He even pretended to have a girlfriend. His gay life was late at night when he would go to a gay piano bar where he wouldn't see anyone he knew. Eventually, Vincent moved to New York to further his career as a reporter. He met Jack, his first long-term partner in New York. Although Vincent and Jack were a couple, Vincent never 'came out' as gay. The author changed jobs from reporter to advertising, and eventually, he and Jack bought apartment buildings in Manhattan, and after some glitches, became successful landlords. His relationship with Jack lasted forty years, but you will have to read the book to find out how it ended. His second long-term relationship with Frank is currently at sixteen years. Vincent never formally told anyone he was gay, but it is a known fact that he is married to Frank. Raised as a Catholic, Vincent eventually lost his faith and became an atheist. Will he be able to forgive those who showed such bias; those who told their homophobic jokes; the society in general for the prejudice that gays endured for so long? On a scale of one to ten, what will his final score be?

The author's story is a poignant account of what it was like being gay in a society where gays were hated. Although he was "an undercover gay," he tells of the "unease" he felt at the homophobic jokes by his peers and being labeled as mentally ill by psychiatrists. Vincent gives an account of running from the police to avoid arrest and keep his name out of the paper. Those are just a few of the many obstacles he faced in life. His writing style is engaging, and his sense of humor shines through despite the things he endured. One of the funniest excerpts from the story is the saga of his thinning hair. He found a powdered hair product that didn't work out so well. Then, he tried hair weaving, and his secretary's reaction was priceless.

What I liked most about this book is the transparency of the author on issues such as racism, sexual abuse, and religion. I also enjoyed the photos of his family and the places where he lived. Some of the pictures were old and a little worse for wear, but I found them endearing.

What I disliked most was the section where the author describes the rental laws in Manhattan in too much detail. There are two types of rent regulations in New York, rent control and rent stabilization, neither of which I understood even after the detailed description in the book.

There are only a few grammatical errors and some formatting issues that could be due to the PDF version I read, but not the printed book form. The poignant storyline and the critical social problems addressed makes this a book worthy of acclaim, so I am giving Forgive and Forget by Vincent Burke 4 out of 4 stars.

I recommend this book to fans of memoirs, as well as those struggling with their sexual orientation. I only encountered one curse word in the book, and there are no erotic scenes, making this book acceptable for all ages except the very young.

******
Forgive and Forget
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Post by Caffrey_19 »

A story of pretense, deceit and racism sounds captivating. I hope Vincent chooses forgiveness. Nice work.

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B Creech
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Post by B Creech »

Caffrey_19 wrote:
13 May 2020, 11:11
A story of pretense, deceit and racism sounds captivating. I hope Vincent chooses forgiveness. Nice work.
Thank you, and thanks for commenting!
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Post by Splendour0606 »

I think it would be to his own good to just forgive and most importantly forget...I was amazed at his long term relationship with Jack, 40 years!that is really lengthy, I wish marriages could last this long. I am not really into gay stories but I think it has a good storyline. Well done on your review.

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Post by Michelle Fred »

What a way to live! Constantly living in fear of being ostracized and arrested for simply existing, I must commend Vincent's courage. I hope he is happy and at peace with the life he has now. Thanks for your beautiful review.

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Post by Ediomis_Enwongo01 »

A good memoir. The life of Vincent ranging from his hypocritical gay life to his family and love life can make a good read. Thanks for your honest review.

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Post by B Creech »

Splendour0606 wrote:
13 May 2020, 16:29
I think it would be to his own good to just forgive and most importantly forget...I was amazed at his long term relationship with Jack, 40 years!that is really lengthy, I wish marriages could last this long. I am not really into gay stories but I think it has a good storyline. Well done on your review.
Thank you. The author sounded like forgetting would be the hardest part for him! I am not really into gay stories either but this book did have a great storyline. Thanks for commenting!
B. Creech

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B Creech
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Post by B Creech »

Michelle Fred wrote:
13 May 2020, 17:30
What a way to live! Constantly living in fear of being ostracized and arrested for simply existing, I must commend Vincent's courage. I hope he is happy and at peace with the life he has now. Thanks for your beautiful review.
[/quote}
The 1960s were the era I was a teenager through young adult and It was absolutely not brought out into the open if someone was gay. I admire the author's courage in telling his story. Thanks for your kind words!
B. Creech

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B Creech
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Post by B Creech »

Ediomis_Enwongo01 wrote:
14 May 2020, 09:08
A good memoir. The life of Vincent ranging from his hypocritical gay life to his family and love life can make a good read. Thanks for your honest review.
Thanks, and thank you for commenting!
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Post by Juliet+1 »

I have been a bit bored with memoirs lately, but this sounds like a good one. Any gay person who survived and thrived in the bad old days has a story worth reading. Thanks for an excellent review. :D

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Post by khaulah »

Im tired of reading memoirs, but this one sounds interesting. I would love to read about Vincent. Thank you for your review🙂.

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B Creech
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Post by B Creech »

Juliet+1 wrote:
14 May 2020, 18:18
I have been a bit bored with memoirs lately, but this sounds like a good one. Any gay person who survived and thrived in the bad old days has a story worth reading. Thanks for an excellent review. :D
Thank you, and thanks for commenting. I hope you enjoy the book!
B. Creech

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B Creech
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Post by B Creech »

khaulah wrote:
15 May 2020, 06:11
Im tired of reading memoirs, but this one sounds interesting. I would love to read about Vincent. Thank you for your review🙂.
You're welcome, and thanks for commenting! It is an interesting life he lived!
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Post by Harty »

It is always good for someone to look back at his life with an aim of changing. It'll be interesting reading about Vincent's story. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by Sunday diamond »

I'm a fan of memoir. It's intriguing to hear that the book is about gay pretence

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