The weekend is here and everyone knows that weekends are for reading! So I thought I’d tell you about a book I’ve read recently and loved, if you need a recommendation, I mean.
It’s the summer of 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act has just decriminalized consensual gay sex in private between two men over twenty-one. Percy Wright and his friend Les Barker have both taken temporary jobs teaching English as a foreign language in London during their long summer break from teaching at a rural boarding school near Oxford.
Thirty-three year old Percy is keen to soak up some theatre, music and general culture, whilst the younger Les is also keen to experience the varied gay social scene. When Les picks up a man called Phil at the box office of the Albert Hall when he goes to buy tickets to a Promenade Concert, Percy inadvertently gets thrown together with Adrian Framlingham, Phil’s friend.
Adrian is all the things Percy likes in a man…funny, kind and steady. When Les gets hurt, Percy turns to Adrian for support, but as the end of the summer looms it seems as if their affair will come to a natural end.
What will happen when Percy goes back to his everyday life as a house-master? Will he and Adrian stay in touch? Does he even want a long-distance relationship when arranging to meet someone for sex is still illegal, even if the act itself is not?
A 20k novella that’s set five years before Taking Stock. Stand alone.
If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that Taking Stock by the same author was one of my favorite books in 2020, so this book was an auto buy for me. And it didn’t disappoint! I devoured Eight Acts one Sunday afternoon accompanied with a cup of tea and it was lovely. It has the same feeling as Taking Stock, the feeling that made me fall head-over-heels for it. The quiet romance, the ordinary guys falling in love in a down-to-earth kind of manner. It has no grand gestures, no over-the-top moments. Just two men, meeting and falling in love, being there for each other, supporting each other when times get rough.
It’s honestly my favorite kind of romance.
Adrian emerged from the box with a triumphal expression, clutching a half-open pack of digestives. “Here! I knew I’d seen them!” he said.
“I think I’m in love with you,” Percy said, apropos of completely nothing.Quote from Eight Acts.
So do yourself a favor and check out this book; it’s great. And if you still haven’t read Taking Stock (buy link), you definitely should. (Taking Stock and Eight Acts are only loosely connected and both can definitely be read as standalones.)
All the heartwarming stars from me. And Ally, if you read this: now I wanna read Les’s story! 😍