Adam - Anthony McDonald
A Sensuous Coming-of-age Tale

Ladymol's Review

This is the novel that Sorcererís Apprentice should have been (and most definitely wasnít).

Adam, sixteen, is taken to France for a year by his parents. Adam is confused and mature in equal measure: a gifted cellist, an exceptional student, a gay teenager with rampant hormones.

For the last three years, Adam has been carrying on an affair with his best friend Michaelómutual wanks to mutual satisfaction.† Heís left Michael behind in England, along with the unobtainable friend, Sean, whom Adam worships from afar.

All these emotions rise to the surface when Adam meets Sylvian, a local French farm hand, and a passionate affair begins between them.

Sylvian, however, is twenty-two, and therein lies the main theme of this novel: where does the guilt lie when there is sex between an under-aged boy and an older man? Itís a theme weíve seen before in other novels: The Coming Storm, Metes and Bounds, Boys of Life, City Kid.† In each of these, something very honest is being said: there are no black and whites or rights and wrongs when it comes to passion; each case must be taken on its merits.† Sylvian is almost childlike, an innocent, less sophisticated and educated than Adam (and less sexually experienced), but he is vastly knowledgeable about the countryside and respectful of the life around him.† His love for Adam is utterly genuine, and ultimately, this makes him more vulnerable.

This book is an incredible page-turner. I read it in one day, although itís so well written that is deserves more attention, and Iím rereading it now.†

In some ways, this could be described as the perfect gay novel for me. Itís got all the elements I want from a book: beautifully written, graphic sex thatís never gratuitous, well paced, great supporting characters, lovely descriptions of another part of the world (rural France), and a moral dilemma at its heart that is explored with a sure hand but does not offer a ready solution.

If you buy one book weíve reviewed rather than borrow from a library, then I suggest itís this one. Youíll want to give this more than one go and return to it from time to time.