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Unrequited

by James Bennett



      James Bennett is a talented new writer. His debut novel, Unrequited, shows the range of his ability. Not only is Bennett able to use language poetically and creatively, but he has crafted a complex story around Aaron Edgeway's difficulty with relationships that is rooted in his upbringing by his abusive alcoholic father. Whether it is his best friend Alex who declares his love for him, his ex-lover Victor, his new love Jason, Victor's friend Catherine, or an exploitative one night stand, relationships are the source of Aaronís angst and what drives the narrative. There is tension throughout the book, plus plenty of jaw-dropping twists. The final few chapters sum up an exquisite book which defines Bennett's genius.

The book is dark and often shocking, especially for readers who might be uncomfortable reading about the romantic lives of gay men. However, it is the psychological underpinning of the novel that mark this book as something more than a romantic story or even just a contemporary slice of life. The word diabolical comes to mind amid the poetic language and the brooding and pain Aaron illustrates.

This book is not a quick read. Sometimes I was a little confused about where I was in the sequence of action, since there were a number of flashbacks used, often without sufficient reader information about where they fell in the timeline. But tenacious readers like myself will soon find that it's well worth pursuing the story through to the last page. Everything is understood and readers come to full knowledge of who Aaron is and what he is capable of.

Readers should note that Bennett lives in the UK so the spelling and idioms are British.

It will be interesting to see what Bennettís sophomore novel is.

The Book

Zumaya Boundless
September 2007
Trade paperback
193413564X / 978-1934135648
Fiction - Literary / Suspense
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Excerpt
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The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book. Coming Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook.
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