Back in December 2013, A Perfect Solution got a lovely five star review on Amazon.com from Samuel Rafael, and in February this year Christopher R Miles gave it another one on Amazon’s UK site (Could not put this book down until I finished it. Lovely story, both sad and happy, with conflicts that some may have found in their own lives. Cracking good story with good pace.) Very satisfying. Then last month it got only two stars from Rye S in Columbus, Ohio whose objection was that the main character did not behave as she thought he should have done. That was disappointing—not because she hadn’t liked the book but because she felt that, for a character to have a life of his own and not to live it as she would, was—in her words—“downright insulting”. A strange way to evaluate a book. But today I felt restored when another five star review appeared, by Speedy:
A MUCH better story than you might expect
This story is about the evolution of a young man and his exploration of his own identity and his sexuality. I don’t know for sure but I think everybody goes through some of this more or less. This story has a lot more than just gratuitous sex.
I was so happy to see that. I’d hate it if people thought my late brother’s books were “just gratuitous sex.” Jimmy wrote about love—not, perhaps, as Rye S thinks it should be experienced but as it is. He wrote this towards the end of A Perfect Solution:
What have I learned from my many and varied sexual encounters? I think the most important lesson is that sex and love are two different things and that they resemble each other, as Eliot said on a totally different subject, “as death resembles life”. There is nothing in this book about “mighty love-hammers” or “thrusting thighs” because I wanted to write a story about love. Love, even sexual love, is not about those things. It’s about tenderness. Affection. Closeness. Intimacy. When two people who love each other come together to make love, they become one person. Self is put aside. Sex without love is a waste of time. Trust me: I have had enough of it to know.
I agree—and I’m glad that Speedy sees it the same way.