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Mr Loverman

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  9,227 ratings  ·  1,111 reviews
Barrington Jedidiah Walker.
Barry to his friends.
Trouble to his wife.

Seventy-four years old, Antiguan born and bred, flamboyant Hackney personality Barry is known for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits.

He is a husband, father and grandfather.

And for the past sixty years, he has been in a relationship with his childhood friend and soulmate, Morris.

Wife Carmel know
Paperback, 307 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Penguin
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Betsy Prioleau I'm not sure; check Amazon. But by all means, read this book!…moreI'm not sure; check Amazon. But by all means, read this book!(less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,227 ratings  ·  1,111 reviews

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Julie G
Why do we stay in unhappy marriages?

Financial concerns?
Children in common?
Attachments to creature comforts?
Shared histories?
Hard habit to break?
Low self-esteem?
Cultural condemnation?
Paralysis analysis?

For Barry and Carmel Walker it's a little bit of “all of the above.”

Oh. . . and Barry's gay and his wife doesn't know it, and she's spent 50 years loving him and trying to get him to love her back.

This is a heart-breaking story, or, it would have been completely heart-bre
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2019
I am ashamed to say that I was completely unaware of Evaristo before her deserved Booker winner Girl, Woman, Other was longlisted. That book was strong enough to persuade me that I need to investigate her earlier work, and this was the first one I could find. In some ways the two books are similar - in both cases the focus is on unexplored areas of black British experience, but the big difference is that this time there is one main character, and he is male.

Barrington (Barry) Walker is a brillia
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour, contemporary
His name is Morris. He is my Morris and he always be my Morris. He's a good-hearted man, a special man, a sexy man, a history-loving man, a loyal man, a man who appreciates a good joke, a man of many moods, a drinking man, and a man with whom I can be myself completely. Yes, I was in the throes of a Malibu-and-Coke-soaked madness, a madness that could lead to the demise of my life as I'd hitherto known it. But I was on the verge. - Bernardine Evaristo, Mr. Loverman

I love this book’s cover; it r
Be true to yourself?

None of us are all the time. Kindness and good manners sometimes preclude it, but there are many who don’t dare be themselves, whether for fear of prison, prejudice, or eternal damnation.
Truth is, both of us was desperate to be anything other than what we was.
Never, not once, have I felt able even to link arms with the man I love.
Even if those fears lessen, it can be hard to break free; there may still be “the great abyss of social alienation” to consider.

Image: Touchi
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
[4.5] To call Mr. Loverman delightful makes it sound like a lighthearted romp. It is delightful but so much more! Barrington Jedidiah Walker, a 74 year old closeted gay man, trapped in an unhappy marriage, is a wonderful, flawed character who I would be happy to follow for many more pages. This is a funny, tender novel that digs deep. I loved it! The audiobook narrators are superb.
Katie Lumsden
Aug 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a book! Incredibly earnest, at times deeply poignant, but equally shot through with fantastic humour and wit. The characterisation here is amazing - this is an absolute masterclass in how to write fantastic, complex, real, breathing characters. Cannot recommend this one enough. I'd also highly recommend the audiobook, which is outstanding. ...more
A truly endearing read! Barry is the character you will be enamoured with!

In Bernardine Evaristo’s Mr. Loverman we meet Barrington Jedidiah Walker a 74-year old Antiguan born, living in England for over 50 years with his wife Carmel. Barry lives with this wife Carmel, their two grown children lives close by but hardly visit. Carmel is a staunched Christian who feels marriage is till death do you part, even if it means staying with her husband who drinks, stays out late, stumble home incoherent
K.J. Charles
The story of an elderly married Caribbean gentleman finally claiming his sexuality as he decides to get a divorce and live with his lifelong lover Morris, and the effects on him, his family, his life. This is a fabulous read. Barry is a deeply flawed character--unreconstructed and very sexist in some ways, selfish, failing everyone including himself at points--and we see how that's caused by both his character and his upbringing, by racism and colonialism and the lingering effects of slavery man ...more
Jan 03, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve decided I love Bernardine Evaristo. I feel like a couple of books into an author’s oeuvre is too early to declare such a thing, but the two novels of hers I’ve read were so different from one another, yet both great reading experiences.

Mr. Loverman has a more traditional structure than Girl, Woman, Other, but it’s still a work of art. Ultimately a poignant portrait of what it’s like for a gay man to be raised in the Caribbean culture that rejects him, and how this wreaks havoc on the peopl
I thoroughly enjoyed this. rtc

4.5 Stars

Listened to the audiobook. Ron Butler was fantastic! Robin Miles was very good though her part was much smaller in the book.

Right, we’ve got that out of the way.
(The record is mentioned once in the book, BTW.)

A novel about a seventy-four year old black Caribbean man in East London who’s been in a down-low gay relationship for most of his adult life, and is forced to confront the possibility of divorce from his wife and finally coming out – to some people that may sound rather worthy. Actually, it’s a joy to read: Barrington (aka Barry) is brilliant company as a narrator, he’s funny, well-read and has a gre
Paul Fulcher
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
We all present carefully selected versions of we-selves to the world at large.
Does he really want to be a relative pariah, no longer a dapper ladies man?

Before her Booker prize winning Girl, Woman, Other, Bernadine Evaristo published a number of other innovative literary works (novels in verse a particular speciality). Mr Loverman (2014) was the immediate predecessor to GWO, her seventh book, and formally at least perhaps more conventional than some of her earlier works.

The main character a
My head is spinning as to what to say about this wonderful story of Barrington Jedediah Walker, that's Barry to you if you please. From the outside, Barry and his family look like a successful immigrant story. He married Carmel back home in Antigua, they emigrated at a young age to London with many others from his small island, he and Carmel had two daughters who are now 30-ish independent adults, he has worked at the Ford Motor factory for 40 years, he's built up quite a portfolio of rental rea ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book immensely. Bernardine Evaristo is an incredibly talented author and her witty writing is certainly on display here.

Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Mr. Loverman) is a hoot! Witty, audacious, loving and carefree. He's a 74 year old closeted gay man born in Antigua and living in London with his wife of 50 years. Oh, and did I mention his lover (whom his wife figures as just his BFF) lives nearby where they enjoy a tryst every now and then, unbeknownst to anyone? Will Barry finally
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio 5 +++ Stars
Story 5 I Felt the Vibes Stars

I loved this so much! Barry is one heck of an opinionated and self assured character! I friggin' loved him even though I didn't always agree with him. As for wifey, I felt for her a bit, but for such a strong willed woman, she was doormat. And my sympathy for doormats only goes so far. 🤷🏽‍♀️

This was a fun, hilarious and heartfelt read!
Lark Benobi
Aug 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, uk
Some aspects of this novel made it difficult for me to enter into the fictional dream, or to allow the book to tell its story without provoking back-talk from me as I read along. I was so enamored of Barry as a fictional character, and so attached to the narrative voice--so full of regret, and guilt, and wisdom-come-too-late, and, yes, love in that opening chapter-- that I got cranky whenever the story moved away from him.

This is one of those cases where I can recognize a work of mastery for wh
Here is a story about a closeted homosexual. His name is Barry. His long-time partner is Morris. Both are Antiguan immigrants living in London, arriving in the early 1950s when they were in their twenties. Morris emigrated first, Barry followed. Their mutual attraction and affection for each other had sparked in their early teens. In London, Morris waited for Barry but eventually he got sick and tired of waiting. Would Barry actually ever come and could they ever become a pair?! Social conventio ...more
Darryl Suite
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
FINAL REVIEW: No one would blame you if you fell in love with Barrington Walker, the protagonist from Mr Loverman. This 74 year old Antiguan man, living in the UK. This man and his colorful suits; married to a devout religious woman, while having a secret homosexual realtionship with his best friend, Morris. This man who has decided to leave his wife of 50 years to pursue the life he should have always had with the love of his life. Or maybe you’ll fall for a number of other characters. Perhaps ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded down.

I didn't much care for Evaristo's Booker winner (see: but wanted to give her another try, to determine whether I just didn't care for that particular book, or if it was Evaristo's style I didn't cotton to. It's a little of both, although I did enjoy this effort more than GWO.

The subject at hand was a bit more appealing and succinct, about an elderly Antiguan transplant to the UK, Barrington Walker, attempting to extricate himself from
Barry, who came to London from Antigua, has been married to Carmel for 50 years and they have two adult daughters. For years Carmel has been fed up with his drinking and gallivanting, assuming that he has lots of women on the side. Little does she know that Barry’s best friend, Morris, has also been his lover for 60 years. Morris divorced his own wife long ago, and he’s keen for Barry to leave Carmel and set up home with him, maybe even get a civil partnership. When Carmel goes back to Antigua f ...more
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favs, 2020-favs
I can't remember the last time I was as absorbed in a novel as I was in Mr. Loverman.

Mr. Loverman is such an endearing, big-hearted book, largely owing to its inimitable narrator and protagonist, Barry Walker. What Evaristo does so brilliantly in this novel is render his voice with nuance and humour; Barry's voice is undeniably his.

What stands out to me most about Evaristo's writing is how invested she is in her characters' idiolects: the specific quirks of their speech, their various mannerism
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most entertaining book I've read this year, so far.

In "Mr. Loverman", Bernardine Evaristo writes about 70+ year old Barry, an Antiguan living in London in a loveless marriage. He's retired, spry, financially comfortable, forever learning, extremely dapper, witty as hell, and enjoys liquor a little too much. His wife, Carmel, suspects he's been cheating on her with various loose women since the beginning of their marriage over 50 years ago, so she unleashes fire on him every time he enters t
Tamara Agha-Jaffar
Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo introduces us to the delightful 74-year-old Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Barry), born in Antigua and transplanted to Hackney, London.

Barry is a dapper, flamboyant, Shakespeare-quoting successful businessman, husband to Carmel for fifty years, father to Donna and Maxine, and grandfather to the teenaged Daniel. Carmel is convinced Barry stays out late at night because he cheats on her with other women. She’s wrong—and right. Barry has never cheated on Carmel wit
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The sign of a great book is when you mourn the loss of the characters (insert 'friends') when it's over. Oh how I miss Barry...and Morris...and Barry's far, far from perfect family.

Barry is a 74 year old Londoner from Antigua. He lives with his wife Carmel of 50 years and has two daughters and a grandson...he also has a secret lover of 60 years called Morris.

This is a family drama rooted in the breakdown of Barry's marriage and how/if/when he can extricate himself from it with minimal damage and
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
“We all present carefully selected versions of we-selves to the world at large.”

Look at that handsome, dandy grandpa on the cover. Someone who dresses so classy probably is confident in everything he does, right? Sadly no, and after 50 years of being in the closet, Barry’s marriage is finally breaking down.

I had such a good time reading Mr. Loverman. Every person we meet is dislikeable – our main man Barry, his wife Carmel, his lover Morris, and Barry’s daughters – but still I was rooting
Dec 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I loved the energy, vocabulary and humor of this book! Here is an example:

"he even loved the things you hated about yourself, like the mampie rolls on your stomach you couldn't shift and your ugly feet with childhood scars and bunions that he massaged and even kissed to think a fella would love you so much he'd want to kiss your trotters?"
Bill Khaemba
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-2020, audiobook
Relistened just for the sake of entertainment and I just wish Barry was an actual human being so I can hangout with him 👌🏿 Again this was a pure delight every section of this book beams with charismatic, fully realised characters who go through life challenges and grow organically... I would 10000% recommend the Audiobook, a masterpiece
One of the most charming tales I have ever read, so much charisma and life
Fern Adams
Jun 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I’ve read by Bernardine Evaristo and I loved it. ‘Mr Loverman’ tells the story of Barry, his wife Carmel and Barry’s secret long term lover Morris. Split between the first person narrative of Carmel and Barry, Evaristo shows that so often what goes wrong in life is a result of fear, prejudice and a lack of communication.

What I really enjoyed in this was how distinct each character was. Their personalities were fully developed and I felt by the end I understood each chara
Elizabeth A
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2016
And the streak continues! Another five star read this year featuring a gay man, albeit a closeted one, and this one was written by a woman.

This story is about Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Barry to his friends), a seventy-four year old Antiguan living in Britain. He is a husband, father, grandfather, and has been cheating on his wife with his childhood lover Morris, for the past sixty years. Based on this description you would think that you'd dislike Barry, but you would be wrong.

There is so muc
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You know what? This book was great. Sensitive, empathetic, soul-searching, and painful, with beautifully crafted characters. I felt I really *knew* these people, they were so *human*. A witty, funny, sassy, coming-of-age-at-the-age-of-74 story. It portrayed the repercussions a family feels over a lifetime due to the crucial decision of one man. The author reminded me that it is never too late to really live the life you want to live. She also made me think of my own life, and how so many people ...more
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21st Century Lite...: Mr. Loverman: Whole Book, spoilers ok 10 32 Aug 24, 2021 10:31AM  
Q&A with Josh Lanyon: July 2020: Mr. Loverman 17 23 Oct 29, 2020 12:43PM  
Hype Lit Book Club: April 2019: Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo 1 7 Apr 08, 2019 10:29AM  

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Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of several books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other won the Booker Prize in 2019. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, London, ...more

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