Elisa Rolle's Reviews > The Wolf at the Door

The Wolf at the Door by Jameson Currier
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Apr 04, 2010

This novel by Jameson Currier stands in the middle of everything: it’s not contemporary but it’s not even paranormal; it’s about ethereal ghosts but also about very real men; it’s about dreams and reality.

Avery Greene Dalyrymple III, gay, middle age and unbeliever is one of the many gay men leaving at Le Petite Paradis, a guest house in the French quarter of New Orleans, with attached restaurant. The cook is Parker, Avery’s former boyfriend, and before that, former boyfriend of Mack, who was also boyfriend with Avery; Mack’s first boyfriend was Tony, an Afro-American man who died in an accident when both of them were too young.

Today Parker has another living boyfriend, Charlie Ray, Avery has Hank, and Mack has no one since he is dying: not even fifty, Mack is HIV positive and the virus is taking him. But this is not a sad novel about a man who is dying too young with unsatisfied dream; the strange thing is that I didn’t feel unhappiness in Mack, he was instead ready to reach Toby in the afterlife. Mack probably would have liked to do that many years before, but he has a purpose in life, being the guardian angels of all the gay men living under his protective wings at Le Petite Paradis. And this doesn’t mean find for them an happily ever after, but giving them a purpose, something to do. Avery and Parker are not together together, but in a way they are a couple, and Le Petite Paradis is their haven; problem is that when Mack dies, even if he is at peace and content, Avery is not the same; as usual when someone you love leaves forever, there is something else you’d have liked to say, something else you’d have wanted to do. Avery starts to see ghosts, from Mack’s past, Tony, but also from Tony’s own past, nineteen century ghosts who seem not at ease, apparently angry ghosts.

Avery beliefs his purpose is to help these ghosts, but I think he is projecting his uneasiness and discontent in them; they are not the ghosts who want something, it’s not Mack or Tony who didn’t realize their dreams, it’s Avery who is realizing that he spent his life without actually obtaining anything; taking care of Mack was the only important and vital thing he had in life, and now that he is dead, Avery feels deprived of something. Seeing ghosts, real or fictional, is only a way to let it go Mack. Avery can’t internalize that, indeed, it was time for Mack, but not since Mack was not ready, but since Avery wasn’t.

This novel tells the long farewell of Avery to Mack, but it’s not a sad farewell; trying to find a reason to what happened, Avery is also building the path towards his new life. Reliving the past will teach to Avery something for the future, and it will also help Avery to accept his own past. From unbeliever Avery will become someone who believes in everything, above all that Mack indeed loved him, like other loves him, and that indeed there is a reason to live.


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