Wow. I have been in a bit of a book hangover following my read of Erin Watts Fallen Heir. I hadn’t been reading anything new. The last week or so I have gone back through my favourites. When I wake and Find you Gone, by Maureen McCarthy. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. I re read the Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons and American Hellhound by Lauren Gilley. Finally, a book came out that I thought may just pull me out of my funk. Spoiler Alert: The Hero dies by Michael Ausiello.
I first came across Michael a few years back. To quote Wikipedia, he is an ‘American television industry journalist and actor.’ Michael was one of the Senior Writes are TV Guide and its companion website, TVGuide.com. Later he went to EW and blogged (Ask Ausiello). I came across him later – when I found his website http://www.tvline.com (which has his Ask Ausiello page!), I know he is a huge deal within his industry in the States, though probably fewer people over here in Australia have heard of him. I found him due to our mutual love of all things Amy Sherman Palladino (HELLO GILMORE GIRLS). I mean the guy had a guest spot on the show! (please see below photo of him and Lauren Graham. (and a few others that I grew up with).
I knew from the outset that this was not to be a happy book. (I mean, what gave that away? Could it have been the title?!?) I also knew going into it that Michael’s husband Kit had passed away a few years ago, following a very short battle with a rare form of cancer. What I didn’t expect was such a raw and honest telling of this. There were several points throughout the book I felt like I was reading Michael’s diary. He shirked away from nothing. Kit cheating on him? It’s all laid out there. Them living separately and Kit having decided to sign a lease for an apartment without discussing it with Michael? It’s in there. Michael’s love of Smurfs and Kit first ‘horrifying’ discovery of it? It’s in there. Their therapy sessions? They are in there. His overwhelming grief and sadness and yet overwhelming love for Kit. It’s in there too.
I found when reading the book that there were times when I was frustrated with these people. Kit was occasionally an ass. Michael stayed with him despite multiple instances of infidelity. I know I am looking at through my own bias, but still. There were other times when I laughed. Kit in Target is something I would have paid to watch. And then you have sick Kit. And I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting to be as devastated as I was. Again, nothing was held back. The ins and outs of Kit’s illness. How Michael coped and what he thought, how he morphed from Kit’s husband to Kit’s caregiver. By the end, I was sobbing on the bus. It’s something I didn’t expect, but again, there were no holds barred. The poop, the pain, Michael putting Kit’s shoes on the wrong way round when they were taking his body away, it’s all there, and I loved it.
I don’t think that this book is going to be a repeat again book in my life, as it was too gutting, but that’s okay. I have now read it, and I think that’s what counts.