Friday, December 18, 2015

Square Affair by Timmothy J. Holt

Square Affair
by Timmothy J. Holt

My Rating: 4 Stars


Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Christine F. Anderson Publishing & Media
ISBN-13: 9780692350645
Genre: Adult Fiction | Gay Romance
Print Length: 246 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
In the small Midwestern town of Dewers, amidst the turmoil of the 1960s, the casual conversations of five men lead to public sex in the courthouse restroom. Their arrest for public indecency takes the town on a journey through good and evil that will alter it, as well as the five men and their families. Through it all the town confirms its perseverance of community and ability to survive.

Each man tells his version of the story that starts at Squeaky’s bar with a planned weekend fishing trip. On that weekend the five men discover a shared sexual interest in each other. This newfound release triggers a need for more, leading to anonymous sex in the courthouse restroom. Their private encounters become public knowledge when the sheriff, acting on a tip, observes the behavior. All are arrested and accused of public indecency, a charge that could land them in jail or a psychiatric hospital. It will lead the town out of its ordinary world and through a land of forbidden, deviant sexual behavior. The men reveal complex, unknown, and differing motivations for their behavior. It is not erotic but gives insight into the behavior’s erotic appeal.

On the day of the men’s hearing, Clara May, a retired English teacher, and Frieda, a retired principal’s assistant, guide us through the thoughts and actions of the men and their families as they await the outcome.
Bob, a law professor, has experimented sexually with other men. Sexual tension in his marriage leads both him and his wife to seek gratification elsewhere. Gary is a transplant from Chicago. He knows he is attracted to men. As an outsider, Gary is mistrusted by the town and blamed for the affair. Thomas, a farmer, experimented sexually in the Navy. His continued desires, deeply held religious beliefs, and controlling parents threaten him and his marriage. He turns to alcohol. James, a car dealer, satisfies his identity crisis with a red sports car and sexual release at out-of-town meetings. His wife suspects but she does not act until her husband’s arrest. Danny’s fundamentalist father forces him to
live with his grandfather because of his interest in male muscle magazines. Two questions are on all their minds: Who am I? Is anyone out there like me?

After the hearing the men meet at Washington Street Bar, a place where anonymity is respected.Knowing there will be a plea deal and no jail, the men discuss tomorrow’s uncertainty. Returning home from the bar, each man confronts the day’s events with their families.
Readers learn, through Clara May and Frieda, that the town questions if it will maintain its natural order of life or enter the stream of a changing world. One thing is certain:Pastor Jones will not cross that threshold of change and tells the town to shun the men and their evil ways. The ordeal brings the men, their families, and Dewers an armor of truth where acceptance can find a home. Not even Pastor Jones’s sword of words will penetrate it. No one remains unchanged. The town finds it has the power to heal, to change, thanks to the power of forgiveness.

 
Square Affair by Timmothy J. Holt

Square AffairIt was the late 1960’s, an era being bombarded with turmoil and the awakening of change, but for one small town, the shock of a homosexual scandal among its own sons was too much to bare.

There were four of them, born and raised in Dewers, former soldiers, married family men, and the backbone of the future for a town that has held its own rebuffing change. Of course they blamed “the outsider,” the man from the big city, but was it Gary’s fault or was it a chance meeting of five men in a basically all male bar, the power of alcohol and the desire to finally share a weight of immense proportions? All have experimented and one knows his sexual identity, but what of those who live a heterosexual life? Every town has its dirty little secrets, but eventually those secrets come out and someone has to pay.

For Bob, Gary, Thomas, James and Danny, their penchant for dangerous encounters in a men’s bathroom on public property will be their downfall when they are arrested, released and quite possible about to stand trial for being different, for trying to live a lie and for getting caught. The town is ablaze with gossip, tongues are wagging and the religious zealot is expounding about fire and brimstone, deviant behavior and to fear the wrath of God. Will the town succumb to the hatred of something different? What of the families of these men? Are they now tainted, too? Wives are betrayed, children are ostracized, and parents are devastated. Lives will change, people will move on, but the damage has been done, or has it? Perhaps the strength of one woman will begin to turn the tide in her hair salon confessions. One thing for sure, the town of Dewers will never be the same and maybe that change will be for the best.

Square Affair by Timmothy J. Holt is a look at the struggles of five men to maintain their secrets while living lies. Their crime was not in the acts of sex or love, it was in feeling the thrill of the location they chose. Their true punishment was the pain they inflicted on the innocent victims of their lies and the questioning of their own identities. Timmothy J. Holt has written a powerful tale of homosexuality, the shame of hiding it and the need for acceptance of those who are considered “different,” and the huge step one must make to decide the path that is right for them. His characters are many, some more developed than others, but his portrayal of the mindset of the era is spot on as the sexual revolution was struggling to come out of the closet, a struggle that continues today. Well put together, without revealing erotic scenes, this is NOT an erotic read, it is a reveal of humanity, its differences, its flaws and its opportunity to grow.

I received this copy from Timmothy J. Holt in exchange for my honest review.


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