Interesting, I think this book stands on its own better than the following story, “Chasing Eddie,” of which I just posted a glowing review. Why? Because the story is more independent of the Nick and Carter universe, even though they appear in the narrative. The plot of “Their Own Hidden Island” happens in real time – 2003 – when Dr. Robert Jenkins, a highly-reputed hydrologist, is called to the HQ of WilliamsJones in San Francisco, and given an important commission related to a damaged coral reef in the South Pacific.
The trick here is that the important task isn’t entirely what he thinks it is.
We are on warmly familiar ground here, except that Nick and Carter are octogenarians. Otherwise, they are the men we have known and loved since the late 1940s. As always, there are ulterior motives in their largesse, but Dr. Jenkins knows nothing of this until he finds himself trapped in a tiny harbor of a tiny island with Mario Rossler, the big, wild-haired redhead who seems ready to kill him or kiss him depending on the moment. Jenkins is a damaged soul, and doesn’t know what to make of the green-eyed Italian Viking. But Mario, for all his size and strength, is a sad, scared man.
Yeah, the coral reef isn’t really the point. And, for those who know Nick and Carter, the island begins to seem familiar, too. It is a brilliant, pulsing presence in this story, and surprisingly funny. More importantly, the second and third books of the Golden Gate Love Stories series give us critical details about the future (i.e. our present). Bob and Mario are important, even if they don’t know it.
At this point in reading Butterfield’s books, I realized that Nick and Carter could have been my friends. They were in their early fifties when I came out at 20 in 1975 and went to San Francisco with my boyfriend (now my husband of 43 years). We could have known them, and I’m pretty sure they would have loved us as they love all their vast gay family. Ah, but they’re not real. And that really breaks my heart.
- Paperback: 202 pages
- Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub (2 May 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1546426590
- ISBN-13: 978-1546426592
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
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