7 May 2019
Wilde Love: A Forever Wilde Novel was a long awaited instalment in the brilliant Lucy Lennox Forever Wilde series. Anyone who’s loved this series, much like I have, would easily have been as eager for the retelling of Doc and Major's love story. And what a retelling it was.
I read with interest the “Letter from Lucy”, where she takes the time to explain just how difficult this novel was to write, how there could have easily been so much more put into Doc and Major's story, more details, more events that shaped the coming together of two dynamic men within a chaotic period of time in our history spread over many years. From the 60's and 70's when Major realized he was gay, to the Vietnam war, through the rough 80-90's where a whole generation of men were dying not from an enemy bullet, but to a vicious disease that took the gay community by storm, to the ongoing easing of public opinions around LGBT communities, to finally a more openly accepting time, where marriage equality became a real thing, not just a dream. So I do agree that Wilde Love, could easily have become a 7000 word? Or page story, because after 45 years together there would have been just so much to tell.
Which is why the 'Letter from Lucy' was just so important, because it explained why there were massive gaps in the storyline. Gaps that rode a year or three, or skipped significant or important details that could have added to this wonderful novel: Like when Major gets hurt in Hobie, that entire section was almost basically glossed over and yet, there was just enough there to drive the story forward. There were of course other elements within the story that we know of, from previous Wilde books that I would have loved reading about, or when mentioned casually, being fleshed out more, like where everything went pear-shaped between Major and Tilly back in the early 50’s, considering 67 years separated their reunion, or the period of time where Doc's life takes a major turn for the worst.
And as Lucy said, this novel was about making tough choices, to decide what part of this amazing journey between two wonderful men, would actually make it to paper. Can I just say, despite the skinniness of some areas within the book, I loved the tale? Sure there were elements where I would have LOVED more detail, a more fleshing out of what actually happened, and definitely more years of our men raising family and living proud together, perhaps even at the sacrifice of that chaotic epilogue, but the overall wonderful retelling of Doc and Major’s story eased that need to the point where it wasn’t a crucial loss.
So anyone who’s ever read this series, will know Doc and Major, they’re central to every book in the Wilde Forever series in some fashion and rightly so.
Can I state categorically, that I loved Major, absolutely adored him. He was everything I wanted him to be and so much more. He was just so easy to connect with, so solid, brave and dependable, a total rock, and without Ms Lennox paying absolute tribute to him as a man and a character, this story would have faulted completely.
I also loved Doc, he had so much growing to do, including acknowledging and accepting his bi-sexuality, which was handled believably, with grace and credence, so that when the time came for him and Major to take that next step in their relationship, their coming together was believable and felt organic, a natural progression to the love they had for each other despite the era which was still so anti-gay.
So, for those out there who are expecting a typical LOL /Wilde Lennox novel, or you will likely be a little disappointed. Major and Doc’s story really deserved the gravity it got, particularly given the global conflict that existed at the time of their meeting (war), and while Wilde Love, wasn’t a full-on angst driven novel, there were periods of emotional turmoil that felt spot on, like Major’s yearning for the man he loved but thought he could never have, and Doc’s heartbreak.
I want to thank Ms Lennox for giving us Major and Doc’s story, I loved it so much I bought it, much like all her other work. I definitely will reread this story, and I do highly recommend anyone who is a fan of the Wilde/ Marian clan series to take the time, if not having already done so, to read this wonderful love story. It totally was worth the time.
For those that haven't read the Forever Wilde series, I recommend you start at Facing West, book 1 in the Forever Wilde Series, because despite Forever Love being a standalone novel there is just so much more depth to Major and Doc’s love story if you've read the other books.
Rating: 5 stars because Ms Lennox gave us the ‘Letter from Lucy’ explanation.