A story of what is like growing up gay in a small city in Northern California in the 50’s and 60’s and living a closeted life as a husband and father. Harlen Johnson is talented, intelligent, good looking and the first black teen to enter UOP in Stockton California, where he lives with the only person he will ever truly love “Douglas Dressler” the blond hair, blue eyed son of a banker who also loves Harlen. Harlen tethered by family and tradition can’t find the courage to run away with Douglas who is willing to do anything to be with Harlen.
Audiobook available on Audible.com
I am really hoping that this book will become a film; the characters are so rich and alive. The premise is wonderfully intriguing, and one might think that it is about race, and being gay but it is not it is just about people making the wrong choices in life and then trying to make them work. The character of Harlan is fascinating and complex, it starts with his adolescence and goes to the point of his becoming a young father trying to maintain a relationship with his wife and family and his male lover, whom he has been in love with, since his first year at the university. He is black which is only important to the plot because he has managed to mainstream his life style into upper middle class America of the 1950’s and 60’s and he afraid the being gay will be his downfall. The pressures of his family, who has also reached a certain standard of living due to some mysterious business owned by his mother and aunt from which they have both retired, weigh heavily on him and pressure him to get married and have kids. The character of Aunt Lillian is fantastic, and should be play by Angelina Jolie in the film, I see Hali Berry as her freewheeling fun loving niece and Harlan’s mother. Living in Daddy’s Closet is probably the best argument for allowing marriage that is on the market today for its message is “why can’t we let people be happy?” Good Question! I can’t wait for Volume II; How did Aunt Lillian get so rich? Please let us know Michael Lee Tucker. The last thing this is the first audio book that has song incorporated in the book as part of the plot it’s a nice plus. The song “Let Love Abide” is really beautiful, great and has so much meaning.
Seriously! One of the pleasures and bonus of “Living In Daddy`s Closet by Michael Lee Tucker,” was the beautiful love song, “Let Love Abide.” The actual music, which was a first for me, right in the storyline. A real treat! Douglas, the lover, of the main character Harlan, wrote the lyrics for him, the one person he loves more than life itself. The audience, his aunt, mother and her boy friend all witness the love in the words and the way it was sang. Douglas indeed was in love with Harlan. It was beautiful, I felt the epitome of his love, as if I was standing in the living room of Lillian’s house watching the very handsome blond hair blue eyes, Douglas, expressing his love for Harlan. Just a few of the lyrics to the song he sang, “When the autumn winds caress you… as the summer wind subsides… may the thought of me possess you…and let love abide…” Something like this, a beautiful song written by two lovers who love will go through the test of time.
The main character Harlan is highly intelligent, talented, handsome, and fascinating and when he discovers true love with the president of the local bank only son, name Douglas, his life is filled with love, and dreams. Their small world get smaller and smaller as the playing field changes with each choice Harlan makes hoping to bring his lover closer, while keeping everyone from questioning their sexuality.
Harlan loves and respects his Aunt Lillian. She Plays an important role in his life. The 50’s theme was family and what better way to prove you are a man. Aunt Lillian was a way with Harlan and just by her suggestion she could get him to do what she wants. She raised him like if he was her own son and tried to protect him from the ugliness of the world. He will do all within his power to please her, to make her proud.
The characters are well written and speak with authentic voices as they pass on their morality and traditions to their love ones but unaware of how it affects each of their lives. The story is so captivating as it draws you into the secrets lives of hidden secrets in a small town in Stockton, California.
I am patiently waiting for Volume II. The story is well worth listening, the cover is not the best but the writing and story is fantastic!