rameau's Reviews > The Marrying Kind

The Marrying Kind by Ken  O'Neill
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's review
May 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc-galley, genre-lgbtqia, genre-contemporary, genre-romance, recommending, read-in-2012, rating-something-positive, language-english-original, x-non-explicit
Read from June 15 to 18, 2012

As I was browsing through NetGalley I happened on this book. I glanced at the cover, read the blurb, and thought maybe not. Then I looked at the author's name, and thought maybe yes.

A M/M romance written by a man? Definitely, yes.

Skimming through the blurb I thought this book would be more about Adam, the wedding planner who quits his job in protest until he can legally marry his partner Steven, but as it turns out it's not. It's more about Steven, the columnist for The Gay New York Times, with a Romanian family and more than his share of neuroses. He tells the story of how their wedding boycott started and how others embraced it. He shows how the wedding plans of their siblings created conflict not only between them and their families but between Adam and Steven and their cats too.

The Marrying Kind is written in first person limited there's only one way to win me as a reader over once that writing choice has been made: The narrator's voice. I'll either love it, tolerate it, or hate it. While I can't claim to be ready to drop down on one knee and profess my undying love, neither can I dismiss O'Neill's writing as merely tolerable.

Despite the slow start I found myself swept away even by the long paragraphs flashing back to Steven's childhood and other significant moments of his life that usually annoy me with all that telling going on. And then there were the moments of showing. I might have awed a couple of times, but I was usually giggling, cackling, or guffawing loud enough to scare the unsuspecting passes-by depending on the moment. Most of my status updates are direct quotes from those moments I once again scared the neighbours.

The book is filled with classical film references some of which I recognised and others didn't. Luckily, the author provides a short summary for the relevant parts. One thing the book isn't filled with is erotica. The plot doesn't dissolve into pure porn and there is exactly one reference to a sex scene and it's vague. That fact almost makes me want to give this book an extra star.

Though, I've shelved this book under romance, it's more than that. The story is set in New York in 2007 when gay marriage was yet not legal in the state. It's about fighting what's right and making your family see it. It's about the reality of a stable relationship and accepting your partner as is. It's about showing why equal rights should be equal.

I couldn't recommend this book more if I tried.

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Reading Progress

1.0% "It's in first person limited."
5.0% ""Fortunately we haven't become one of those couples who start resembling each other physically--well, we are both lean and muscular.""
18.0% ""What happened next, I will leave to your imagination, except to say it was nice. Very nice.""
20.0% ""-no trip has ever been awarded." LOL"
24.0% ""Better not to risk holding hands, I thought. I didn't want trouble.""
27.0% ""I felt inspired, confident, and strong. Three words never before used in a sentence describing me.""
29.0% ""-perhaps 'crib' was the ideal word choice." LOL"
32.0% "Never saw that coming."
33.0% ""It occurred to me that maybe Peter and I were not the ones from the crazy family.""
34.0% ""-she assumed there was a mouse in the room." I'm cackling!"
46.0% ""They delivered comfort in a greased 13x9.""
56.0% ""If we ended up in jail, best not to be so cute.""
62.0% "A naked hug!"
69.0% ""-his parents were just being painfully literal.""
77.0% ""That's the mighty power of delusion.""

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