Book Review – Bliss: A Marriage Proposal
Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Philip D. Luing
Luing’s collection of prose and poetry to his longtime partner Stephen is a gift to readers. These intensely personal and emotional writings could have remained private, for only lovers to share, but as Luing mentions in his dedication our society continues to make the personal political. My hope is that through sharing their experiences, society may better appreciate the personal and one day remove the political.
Bliss starts with the “meet cute” between Philip and Charles Stephen. Returning from a dance concert, Philip stops in for a quick drink at a nearby bar where he unexpectedly meets a somber Charles Stephen; a close friends battle with liver cancer is the cause of Stephen’s mood. But Philip is quickly drawn to Stephen and a relationship blossoms. They move in together and as the seasons pass, their love grows. Philip’s gift is his writing and he conveys in wonderful verse their anniversaries, holidays, and everyday life. The story of remaking their entire bedroom because of the purchase of one slightly too large chair was whimsical while the poem “Wrinkle Cream” beautifully describes how life inscribes itself on Stephen’s face as Philip ponders which lines if any are his.
As the title betrays, the story culminates in a beautiful marriage proposal from Philip. Charles Stephen closes the book with his touching thoughts.
I cannot thank both of them enough for sharing their story with all of us.
Congratulations to you both.
Note: A complimentary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.