Feliz's Reviews > Handyman

Handyman by Claire Thompson
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's review
Jan 02, 10

bookshelves: m-m, contemporary
Read in December, 2009

Investment banker Will realizes that he needs a break when his boss drops dead in front of him at fifty - five. He moves for a sabbatical apart from Manhattan stock market to a small town and takes his life down a notch. The old house he bought needs renovation, and thus Will engages handyman Jack, who runs an one - man renovation firm. Over the course of the renovation, Will notices he feels attracted to Jack in a way he's never experienced before. Until then, his sex life has been like the stock market: easy on, easy off. Now he finds himself craving something else entirely - friendship, reliability, maybe even love.
Jack married right out of high school. He has been married for twenty - four years until his wife died a sudden death at only fourty - two. Jack has been content in his marriage, in being a father, in his life, until he meets Will. Noticing the attraction he feels for the younger man, Jack realizes that there has been something missing in his life, something buried so deep he headn't even been aware it wasn't there. Long forgotten memories of a sexual encounter with his best childhood friend surface again, and Jack realizes that he might have had a wrong picture of himself, of his own sexuality for most of his life.

There is a lot of introspection going on for both men. While Jack tries to come to terms with his own sexuality and his physical needs, Will needs to tear down the emotinal walls he has been building for most of his life. Written alternately from Will's and Jack's point of view, we come to know both men intensely. The author leads her characters along with the reader through insecurity and angst, through growing desire and emotional connection. Both men change and grow over time, and in the end it's easy to believe that they are going to make it happen. A very satisfying read, although the long passages of introspection sometimes became a bit repetitive. There's quite a lot of hot sex going on between Will and Jack as well as in the retrospective parts in which both men's lives are looked at. But the sex is mostly really there to forward the plot and besides, the scenes are nicely done.
Recommended for everybody who's looking for a tender, loveley lovestory and doesn't mind a little angst.
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