The Mt. Monadnock Blues by Larry Duberstein

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Synopsis

Just turned forty and living alone, Tim Bannon is sliding comfortably into midlife crisis when his orphaned niece and nephew arrive on his doorstep. Though Tim loves these two children, he has his doubts about being in loco parentis. For starters, he is gay and the year is 1990-long before the age of gay buddies on primetime TV. 1990 is a time of terror, a time when even perfectly nice people fear they will die from touching a gay friend. If they have one. Nor is it clear that Tim's surviving sister Erica and her husband Earl are perfectly nice people. Sexy, flaky, undirected Erica and redneck, unapologetically reactionary Earl (who, Tim is sure, shoots his dogs to simplify summer travel plans) have their own doubts about Tim's fitness and they enjoin a New Hampshire court to take the kids from him. As Tim marshals friends, colleagues, lawyers, and shrinks (Bannon's Queer Army of the Republic) to do battle against Earl and his folksy lawyer Merle, THE MT. MONADNOCK BLUES draws us deeper into an edgy, moving, and often hilarious family tale, played out against the backdrop of a glorious New England summer.
 

About Larry Duberstein

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Duberstein's prose has been called "fire stolen from Heaven" and his irony "laugh-out-loud funny." His rich sense of place (here, the lakes and hill-towns of the Monadnock region) "puts other novelists to shame" an his characters are "distinctive and appealing." The Mt. Monadnock Blues is a worthy addition to a body of work which includes two New American Writing Awards, a New York Times "New & Noteworthy" citation and a New York Times Notable Book, The Handsome Sailor.
 
Published October 1, 2003 by Permanent Press. 232 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But their happiness is short-lived: Tim’s surviving sister Erica and her loutish husband Earl file a petition for custody, arguing (falsely) that Tim has AIDS and that, as a homosexual, is unfit to raise children.

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Duberstein keeps a close lens on Bannon's emotional ups and downs, but also introduces an abundance of characters and reaches back to the family's Carolina roots to complement (and sometimes slow up) the primary plot.

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