Last night I had the opportunity to talk to a book club whose members had read I, too, Have Suffered in the Garden.
Every book club has its own dynamic, and I’m always curious to see how readers will respond to what I’ve written. This particular group was really stuck on Adam’s infidelity. We’re very conservative Christians, one woman said, which might have made me jump to the conclusion that their issue would be Adam’s sexual orientation. But that wasn’t the case. They didn’t like the betrayal of the commitment Adam had made to Joel; some of them, in fact, seemed downright angry. Though they eventually understood Adam’s motivation, his affair made them like him a little less.
Maybe even a lot less.
I get it. Adam’s behavior, especially when viewed outside of the context of his relationship with Bobby–his former lover who died of AIDS when Adam was twenty-five–seems pretty appalling.
Of course, we only see Adam’s perspective. That’s what happens when something is written in first-person. In I, too, Have Suffered in the Garden, you’re in Adam’s head. And along with his viewpoint come his baggage and biases.There’s not a lot of space for anything else.
In The Crossing, coming to you later this summer, you’ll be able to get inside Joel’s head.
Of course, Joel has his own issues, his own baggage. He makes his own terrible decisions. You may be totally annoyed at times by his inertia, or his self-destructive tendencies.
At the same time, everything will start to click: Adam’s relationship with Joel, Joel’s relationship with James, James’s relationship with Adam. They’re all so intertwined, and it’s messy and complicated and actually kind of rich.
Like monogamy. And infidelity.
There’s a reason why those words were triggers last night.
I want to suss that out. Care to join me?
Then join me on my author page on Facebook. Or ask your book club to read my book. I’ll chat with you in person, or Skype myself in.
Let’s talk about this together. There’s so much we can discover.
p.s. Want to get a jump-start? Tell me in the comments below what you thought of Adam’s affair.
Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Hritz All Rights Reserved