Mr Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo

I borrowed the idea of the ‘Twelve Days of Bookmas’ from a fellow bookworm to help me pick a book that I am going to read each month of 2024. ‘Mr Loverman’ was the first book that I unwrapped to read in January; this has been on my to-be-read pile for far too long, so definitely deserves to have been read before now.

‘Mr Loverman’ was an interesting read. It tells the story of Barrington Walker, a 74 year-old dapper gentleman who loves knowledge, who moved to Britain in the 1960s from Antigua. To all intents and purposes, he is your regular Caribbean gentleman who has worked to create a successful life in London with his wife and children. However, he has been living a double life, as the love of his life is in fact his best friend, Morris. Something that he has struggled to be open about, as it is not something that has been accepted for so much of his life.

This is such a fascinating study of Carribean culture, and how it can be so difficult to break away from the expectations that can be held over you by society. How hiding your true self can create other problems and hurt those that you love the most, or breed a resentment that some can not see past. It certainly makes Barrington Walker a man that you want to love, but you can also see how it may have created some less favourable character traits in him too. Yet, it is clear that fear is something that haunts him and Morris – fear of being discovered, fear of punishment and fear of hurting those that they love.

This book is beautifully written – I would not expect anything less from Bernadine Evaristo – and it is incredibly thought-provoking. ‘Mr Loverman’ is certainly a book I should have read sooner, and I will be recommending it to other readers, especially if they read ‘Girl, Woman, Other’, as this deserves the same amount of recognition.

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