In Voinov and Lane’s City Mouse, we find ourselves once again with Malcolm and Owen. It’s a few days after the grand train station moment, in Country Mouse, and life is moving on. It does that. Malcolm has to go back to work and Owen has to find a job. Malcolm wants it to be a good one. He doesn’t want Owen in a crap part of town making less than what he’s worth. Owen absolutely doesn’t want a soul killing, all consuming job the likes of which Malcolm has. The sight seeing and the sex are fantastic, but the everyday things like what to eat, where to work, how to launder clothing has them at odds with each other. Malcolm struggles to explain he just wants the best for himself and Owen. Owen struggles to explain he just wants Malcolm.
Owen takes a job that makes him happy. Malcolm accepts it. Sort of. At the same time Owen takes a low paying job in a crap neighborhood that makes him happy, Malcolm’s work life becomes significantly more complicated. He regularly works incredibly long hours and comes home to Owen only for the two of them to go to sleep. Malcolm feels guilty and insecure. How can Owen want to be with someone who’s never home? And how can he possibly take care of himself with that crap job if he leaves Malcolm? Unwisely, Malcolm forces the issue of a “better” job on Owen. The conversation is both public and unpleasant. Both men make regrettable statements they have to work their ways back from to make their happily ever after a reality.
It’s so obvious to the reader, and to Owen, that Malcolm is desperate for love and attention. Yes, he can buy all the material stuff in life, but he really needs to be cared for, not have things taken care of for him. He’s clueless. It’s kind of heart breaking when he struggles and rebels but really beautiful when he finally lets himself be vulnerable...
Faye's full review can be found at Live Your Life, Buy The Book