2 out of 4 stars
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Husband: My 40-year old Marriage To A Gay Man is a memoir that Joanne Blackwelder decided to write soon after Stephen Myron’s (her husband’s) death in 2008. Both the book cover and name, foreshadow that this story is one filled with much emotional pain and marital issues. However, I think it would have been more fitting to use the term, bisexual instead of gay because Myron was attracted to both males and females. Joanne knew Myron’s sexual orientation and even knew that he was not planning to remain faithful to her and she still decided to marry him. She hoped that her love for him would change him. Was she able to somehow transform him before his death? Joanne quickly answers this question and shifts our attention to a bigger puzzle, “How could she stay married for nearly 40 years, to a husband who was gay?”
There were literally only a few things about this book that I enjoyed. As expected from someone who studied English at the Ph.D. level, Blackwelder’s grammar and formatting were speckles. I also appreciated that the diction was free of superfluous words. All the scenes were vividly portrayed and there was hardly any time when I was confused as to what was going on in the story. Unfortunately, that’s about all that I liked about Husband.
Even though I just complimented the author’s use of words, her skills in English literature did not translate into an engaging reading experience. The author recounted what seems to be every single conflict in her forty-year-old marriage. Since most of the issues were recurring, the story was in a forever loop.
My copy was over five-hundred pages long but it felt like it was over five-thousand. I usually only take a week to read a book this length (even with a busy schedule) but it took me a whole month to finish Husband. I must admit that I believe there is an audience for this book since it focuses on marital issues and sexual identity. I would only recommend this to persons who are highly interested in these themes. I would not recommend it to anyone else because the author does a lot of telling and little showing. Also, I could not connect emotionally with any of the characters.
In summary, I rate this novel 2 out of 4 stars. I was tempted to give it one star but there were a few redeeming scenes throughout the book.
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