The Weekend: by Peter Cameron

TW(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)

I didn’t enjoy this as much as I did his ‘Someday this pain will; be useful to you’. The chief characters in this book talk endlessly about the truths concealed behind etiquette. The only part of the book with which I could identify is that I once left very early after experiencing a painful situation as a weekend guest.

Tony and Lyle are an unlikely pair in this romance that focuses on homosexual partnerships. Tony is outgoing and brash, Lyle quiet and subdued. Tony likes loud parties and being the centre of attention; Lyle is the classic wallflower. Their relationship has its ups and downs, as does, but when Tony reports that he has AIDS, Lyle steps up and becomes his support and his caregiver.

TW 2Marian and John have a beautiful home in Upstate New York and share a baby son, Roland, who is Marian’s chief focus as she looks for sources of worry each day. Marian is the typical mother, who not only mothers her children but John’s brother Tony and Tony’s partner, Lyle. When things change on the anniversary of Tony’s death, Marian finds herself deep in “worry mode.”

Robert is a young man looking for his place in life, attracted to Lyle and welcoming the opportunity to accompany him on a weekend trip to a friend’s house. Robert is not prepared for all of the issues that will arise out of his relationship with Lyle, and Lyle’s relationship with John and Marian. The character development of Laura Ponti is worth the read.

TW 3The author has written a comfortable story about everyday people dealing with the issue of homosexuality. There is a note of familiarity in the story that brings to mind the drama of Judith Guest’s Seventies’ creation Ordinary People. Adults who like to have their ideas challenged and enjoy stories about damaged characters seeking to redeem themselves will enjoy this story. There are limited passages of sexual detail, but they are done with innuendo and description more than with physical details.

Quotations:

“It was strange to see someone you have only known alone begin TW 4interacting with other people, for that somebody known to you disappears and is replaced by a different, more complex, person. You watch him revolve in this new company, revealing new facets, and there is nothing you can do but hope you like these other sides as much as you like the side that seemed whole when it faced only you.”

There are things you lose you do not get back. You cannot have them, ever again, ex­cept in the smudging carbon copy of memory. There are things that seem irreconcilable that you must find a way to reconcile with. The simple passage of days dulls the sharpness of the pain, but it never wears it out: what gets washed away in time gets washed away, and then you are left with a hard cold nub of some­thing, an unlosable souvenir. A little china dachshund from the White Mountains. A shadow puppet from Bali. Look—an ivory shoehorn from a four-star hotel in Zurich. And here, like a stone I carry everywhere, is a bit of someone’s heart I have saved from a journey I once made.

TW 5TW 6return to the home page

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