From Publishers Weekly
After a string of humorous essay collections, Ford (The Little Book of Neuroses) expands his repertoire with this brimful first novel about life, love and self-discovery over the course of a steamy Provincetown summer. Among the bevy of characters Ford introduces is Josh Felling, who flees to a friend's guesthouse to mull over his boyfriend's recent infidelity, though a day later he's already lusting over Reilly Brennan, the soon-to-be-married guesthouse repairman who might not be so straight after all. Midwestern runaway teen Toby Evans arrives soon after, and meets sweet local transgender performer Emmeline, who takes him in; next comes influential Hollywood producer Reid Truman and his boyfriend, hot closeted actor Ty Rusk. A quick weekend away turns into an indefinite stay for Josh, who has decided to write a novel and agrees to donate sperm so that Jackie, a local lesbian restaurant owner, can bear a child. Complicating matters for the Hollywood duo is Devin, an opportunistic local girl who insinuates herself into their lives by agreeing to pose as Ty's New York "love interest," but has big plans to expose their relationship to the tabloids instead. This is a slight cut above more mainstream gay fiction offerings, thanks to Ford's crisp prose and snappy, contemporary dialogue. Though the characters wade across some all-too-familiar waters, it's the sandy, barefoot-friendly setting that morphs all the melodrama into a satisfying beach book-and a pleasant fiction debut for Ford.
The books in Ford's series Trials from My Queer Life have been essay collections, and parts of his first novel might stand alone as quasi-portraits, not far removed from the essay tradition, of various aspects of gay life. In Provincetown, that summertime gay Mecca, thirtysomething Josh, shocked and hurt by news of his longtime partner's infidelity at the gym, is taking refuge, and blond, blue-eyed, cornfed, innocent young Toby is seeking a new life far from his midwestern roots. Also, Hollywood hunk Ty's secret summer love nest is verging on explosive publicity, and straight, year-round P-Town contractor Reilly can't quite quench those hot memories of yesteryear, despite his upcoming wedding. These and others, notably southerner Emmaline, who helps Toby in the midst of her own family crisis, make a made-for-the-beach page-turner, complete with characters twining in and out of one another's arms and destinies, as well as those quasi essays, that may leave readers wishing for a wintertime sequel.