In One Person

In One PersonIf you don’t ask, you don’t get. So I asked the publishers if I could get a review copy of John Irving’s latest, In One Person, because I am a big fan and would (more likely than not) review it. And I got it, two days later.

Billy Dean grows up in 50s and 60s America, with a cross-dressing grandfather (who does so only while acting on stage), disapproving grandmother, aunt, and mother. He doesn’t know what to think about his own complex feelings for Miss Frost, the local librarian, and an older student at his all boys school.

We go on this journey with Billy, whose bisexuality (not a spoiler) keeps him confused and liberated at the same time. The novel travels back and forth through his life, where we meet all the important men and women he’s loved (and who love him). We also get to see the 80s — a truly horrific time for people who have (unprotected) sex with others — through his eyes.