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Speaking of Dreams (Stephen Osborne)

Speaking of Dreams - Stephen Osborne

4.25 stars

When we meet 45-year-old Frank Hunter, he is still missing his lover who died four years ago. His friends -- most especially the scene stealer Zach Schubert a.k.a. Miss Hetty Suxual -- have been urging him to start going out and dating again. Until on his birthday celebration, Frank encountered young Donny Rodriguez, twenty year old his junior, who starts to spark something inside Frank.

For me, Speaking of Dreams is a tender and contemplative story about life, about moving on after losing your loved one, about letting ago and forgiving one self, and about opening up the chance for love. And Osborne does it without dousing it with anguish; instead he brings his usual charming writing. Sure, it gets melancholy sometimes but it is never overwhelming. Frank's self-deprecating humor is engaging and it made me want to be his friend.

I did struggle to understand why Donny falls in love with Frank, though. Now, don't get me wrong! I love Frank and I'm not saying that Frank is not a catch. However, with first person perspective, it was easier to see how Frank falls for Donny than the other way around. It was easier to see that Frank is withdrawn to Donny's youth, vitality, and energy. But how Donny falls for Frank was a little bit 'blurry' from me -- except that Donny thinks of Frank as beautiful and mature and different than his previous controlling boyfriend. But is that enough?

Bottom line, the story flows smoothly with characters that feel unpretentious, mature, and real. This is definitely my favorite Osborne so far.