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This was a great book to continue my reading of James Baldwin. This book shows his range as a great writer to me, as previously I was only accustomed to seeing Baldwin write and talk about the civil rights movement.
Baldwin spent time away from the states, residing in Paris. You can hear the authenticity in his descriptions of the Parisian landscape, and people. It seems that Paris has carried on the tradition of being beautiful for the people who can afford it, and for those who cannot, we need to find the beauty in it.
The book is narrated by the main character, who is in Paris to get away from his life in the States. Although he knows his sexuality, he finds it difficult to accept and we are taking on his internal battle throughout the book.
A recurring theme of the characters in David’s life is that they are all running away or hiding from some part of their lives and it is no coincidence that they all find solace in each other. Giovanni himself has fled Italy following a tragic event. David’s girlfriend is travelling Europe (without him) when she is first introduced to us. While other characters are also battling their sexuality.
A short novel which had me hooked from the start, and there were times when I could not put it down. Baldwin’s writing expertly describes the joy and pain of love and the reader feels these emotions on every page.
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