Henry Norman is a socially isolated man. He teaches at a local museum and has no family and few friends. His passion lies in his love of the history of things. He believes that everyday items; stoves, lamps, pictures, etc tell us the history of our lives. One year he has a magnetic student named Ruben Harper in his class. He can't help but be drawn to Ruben's personality and wit. At first it's just a curiousity but as the school year goes on he finds himself attracted to the younger man. Ruben is quite cheeky and openly flirts but Henry ignores the advances due to Ruben's age and the student/teacher dynamic. After Ruben graduates the two men meet again and their relationship takes on an entirely different focus.
Sometimes you read a book in which the writing just wows you. That was the case for me here. The overall plotline was something I'd read before in other books but this author's execution and writing style were so different and so beautiful that I could not put this book down. It was almost lyrical in the way it was written.
The dynamic between the two men is so interesting. The way the look at life and their relationship was so interesting to me. I especially loved Henry's theory on everyday history. It was something that actually made me think about my own life.
I was a bit apprehensive at first of the age gap. It's not the number of years that bothered me but how young Ruben was when they first met. Being a mom of boys it made me a bit uncomfortable. They don't actually end up together until Ruben's older and the way everything came together seemed believable to me.
This was the first time I had read anything by this author but it won't be the last. I read a lot of books each year and it's rare that I find something that is so unique and different.
Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert into a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.
Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben with details from their weekend together and trigger feelings too strong to avoid. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.