The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg is a Fictionalized and intriguing sexually charged LGBTQ story. Or is it, fiction, we wonder? The narrator mentions at the end that names and locations were changed to conceal the identity of the individuals. My initial feeling when I began reading was that this would be a super quirky story. While I was enjoying it, I wasn’t thinking that I would love this book as much as I do now. Quite rapidly the story pulled me in deeply and I could not turn away. The emotional range was both impressive and shocking.
“Jealousy is a dangerous motive”
This entire book is a letter that was written to Adam, who we only get a small glimpse of in pieces through the story. The narrator, who signs off as XXX, walks us through a truly captivating telling of his last relationship from the rapid and intense beginning to the bitter ending. He walks us through his obsession with Uzi, his lover, and how he loses himself completely. The Narrator, while immersing himself in the interests of his entitled partner, begins to grow as a man and as a partner in love and business. The relationship appears to fall apart with the introduction of a younger, handsome son of a business contact. As the events were unfolding I found myself completely torn in half. While I was feeling the pain and anxiety that the narrator was going through I was also hoping for a resolution or compromise and rooting for their love.
I cannot fault this story or this writing in any way. Fallenberg gives you a clear picture of the vibrant characters and transports you to the coastal town of Kritmonia. While the story takes place in Israel, the focus is on the narrator’s journey through this emotionally charged relationship and that period of his life. You get enough background to understand the basic cultural and regional repercussions of being a gay man in Israel but that is not the subject of this book.
If I could choose one complaint, I found myself wanting more. I wanted to know what Adam’s choice was and I want to know what the future holds for XXX. I am so happy I chose to read this book and count it as one of my favorite reads that has touched my heart.
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