The Marrying Kind by Ken O’Neill
THE MARRYING KIND by Ken O’Neill
THE MARRYING KIND is the first novel (June 2012 release) published by new author Ken O’Neill. A lighthearted yet poignant look at a gay couple (Adam More and Steven Worth), and their ‘movement’ to boycott weddings. The irony –Adam is a wedding planner. Set in 2007 before the marriage equality acts of 2011, and written in first person POV, The Marrying Kind takes a look at an age- old institution and what it really means to those who can never legally say ‘I do’. Hailing from Canada (as I am) where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2004, this was a bit of a time-warp but is still a very prevalent topic of conversation in many communities.
Steven writes a column for the Gay New York Times- a free publication owned by his ex-boyfriend Brad. Well, writes would be a stretch when week after week he struggles for inspiration. Meanwhile, Adam is a successful wedding planner who is slowly succumbing to the overwhelming irony that he caters to, and works for, an institution and industry that does not allow for the acknowledgement of same-sex marriages. A bit of a conundrum involving politics, religion and equal rights.
Thinking his lover of almost 7 years is having an affair Steven confronts Adam only to realize that Adam’s lack of faith in the wedding business will propel both men into a movement that neither had ever considered. Inspired by Adam’s declaration to withdraw from the wedding planning business, Steven’s columns in the Gay New York Times will spearhead an anti-wedding movement for a large number of gays and lesbians in the wedding service industry. But timing is everything, when Steven and Adam’s brother and sister announce their engagement and ask Adam to plan their extravagant affair.
Steven’s first person running dialogue is humorous and heart breaking. We see into the mind of a man who is torn between loyalty to his brother and the man that he has loved for over 6 years. The gathering momentum of the ‘movement’ will put Steven and Adam at odds. The relationship with their families, friends and eventually themselves will suffer when unspoken allegiances will be called to the forefront. Steven’s devotion to his family and his lover is never in question, but Adam’s stand against a family wedding will force Steven to make a decision that will eventually cause much heartache and pain for everyone involved.
The Marrying Kind runs the spectrum from humorous and poignant, to heartbreaking and sad . Ken O’Neill’s story will force you to take a look at the marriage institution and what it really means. There are several definitions to the term marriage-some involving the legal union between two consenting adults, and others between a man and a woman. And herein lies a technicality that politicians, law makers, and religious authorities use to support their cause-right or wrong. The Marrying Kind is a poignant story that looks at the flip-side of the marriage-go-round-for those that could never legally say ‘I do’. The Marrying Kind is a fascinating and interesting story and one that will make you think.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy