Book: Aqua Follies
Publication Date: July 15, 2017
Length: 186 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll.
Russell tells himself he’ll marry Susie because it’s the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team’s trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player’s solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.
From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because good things might happen, but the timing has to be right. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot.
The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?
This is a story about Russell and Skip. Russell has graduated law school and is helping out his aunt by assisting coach her Aqua Dancing group. He travels with her one summer and it's there he meets Skip. Skip is an out and proud gay man. Which, in the 50's is dangerous. He plays the horn in the evening and is such a well-loved character.
Even though the 50's doesn't seem that long ago, it actually is and tolerance was almost nonexistant. Because of the way society dictated things it's why Russell tried to keep to his plan of marrying his girlfriend, who also swam with his aunt, and living happily ever after with her.
My heart ached for these two. It cracked a few times and I got all misty. It's hard not to feel emotional when we see all their struggles.
I was born int he 70's. I won't begin to pretend I know what it was like in the 50's or being gay then either. That said, I felt Liv Rancourt gave this story, and Russell and Skip, great justice. It was authentic of its time and a story that should be told.
The use of aqua dancers was awesomely creative. I love when I read uncommon occupations or situations. Silly probably but it's what actually drew me to this story in the first place.
Liv is an amazing author and if you've never read her start here. If you're a fan then you're going to love this!
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