So So Gay picks up a copy of Patience and is treated to a new view on the life of a gay man.
The story of a man coming out and starting the journey of his homosexual life is one which has been told again and again in a variety of formats. Author Jed La Lumiere has thrown his hat in the ring by releasing his own story through Patience, a story which takes the reader on a journey through time as he shows us his own story and all happiness and sadness it brings.
One of the first things we noticed reading La Lumiere’s prose is his use of words to make it feel like we are following along to his own inner monologue. It is a rich experience since it allows it to feel like we can imagine his voice slowly narrating his own story. This use of the prose is quite disarming and allows the reader to feel a deeper connection to the storyteller, which is only enhanced when we remember that this is his own personal story.
A lot of the content will speak to the reader on multiple levels since his path echoes the road that many a gay man finds themselves on. However, the writer is refreshingly honest about the highlights and lowlights of his life, which gives the story a feeling of a confession. It is a tremendous feeling to be able to read a book and feel taken in by the way that it is written, and manages to be candid without being too much in the readers face. Though it is true that there are moments that drag, you can almost feel La Lumiere’s presence in the words, gripping us and pulling us through the story of the life he has lived.
In many ways we can all see our own experiences reflected in these pages, and his fearless descriptions of the best and the worst of the gay man’s lifestyle felt organic and terrifically true to life. The author also goes to great strides to portray some of the lower points with humour and reminds us that everything he went through helped to make him who he is today. We could not help but admire that level of honesty, and for that reason we felt compelled to keep reading to see what other parallels existed between our different yet similar lives.
Sadly Patience is not without its problems, and in this case the use of an inner monologue style is also something of a double edged blade. La Lumiere is essentially a selfish narrator and he pulls the reader hither and thither in different directions at a whim which often comes with little warning. While this starts out as a cute little diversion from his narrative, it becomes a little hard to keep up as he stops mid flow to explain his use of vernacular. This led to a particularly awkward moment early where he explains the usage and application of the word ‘mo.’ This is not necessarily a bad thing, but we could not help but feel as though he had a different audience in mind when he wrote this.
At its core Patience is a great read and La Lumiere has given us a rich story which we found addictive, uplifting and relatable in equal measures. We only hope that in any future volumes he tries to stay more focused on the narrative itself as the numerous segues into different subjects might put off a more casual reader.