Russell tells himself he'll marry Susie because it's the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team's trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player's solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.
From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon's younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because good things might happen. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot.
The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
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This book had alot going for it namely the characters which rang true considering it took place in 1955. I liked Skip very much, Russell was likeable yet that came and went considering he was trying to fight his homosexuality. Surrounding cast interesting yet not fleshed out much. They seemed to be in the book a lot yet we knew little of many of them. The gripes I do have however come from being a Pacific Northwest native. In Seattle you don't "smell the ocean, " it's Puget Sound. Now is that part of the ocean? Yeah sorta but you don't get that fresh ocean smell. In Long Beach WA Jake the Alligator Boy wasn't aquired by the Marsh Museum until 1967. Ya see it is small nit picky stuff but it can really make a difference. Also at one point Skip "turns left to go to the Everett Boeing plant." That also wasn't there at the time, not until 1967. Boeing was at "Boeing Field towards Tukwilla. You must understand those things didn't ruin the book for me but I get a real bug in my bonnet when an author writes an "historical" story and misses some of the history. Good book in all other aspects.
When I think about historicals I usually think anything before the 1920's. It's hard to believe that the 1950's are considered historicals, but alas it is. This is a story about Russell and Skip. Russell has graduated law school and is helping out his aunt by assisting coach her Aqua Dancing group. He travels with her one summer and it's there he meets Skip. Skip is an out and proud gay man. Which, in the 50's is dangerous. He plays the horn in the evening and is such a well-loved character. Even though the 50's doesn't seem that long ago, it actually is and tolerance was almost nonexistant. Because of the way society dictated things it's why Russell tried to keep to his plan of marrying his girlfriend, who also swam with his aunt, and living happily ever after with her. My heart ached for these two. It cracked a few times and I got all misty. It's hard not to feel emotional when we see all their struggles. I was born int he 70's. I won't begin to pretend I know what it was like in the 50's or being gay then either. That said, I felt Liv Rancourt gave this story, and Russell and Skip, great justice. It was authentic of its time and a story that should be told. The use of aqua dancers was awesomely creative. I love when I read uncommon occupations or situations. Silly probably but it's what actually drew me to this story in the first place. Liv is an amazing author and if you've never read her start here. If you're a fan then you're going to love this!
A very touching 1950's gay love story. I'm not sure how to describe how I felt about Aqua Follies except to say that I loved it. It's the first book I've read by Liv Rancourt but it won't be the last. Aqua Follies is set in 1955; coincidentally the year I was born. As the book blurb says it was a time of postwar exuberance, conformity, rock and roll, and - homophobia. Russell is in Seattle as an assistant coach with his aunt's group, the Aqua Dears, a synchronized swim team performing in the Aqua Follies at the 1955 Seattle Seafair. Russell knows what he is, that he prefers men over women, but that's against the law so he's determined to settle down and make a life with his girl, Susie. Skip is a horn player, whose music is hauntingly beautiful, and he plays in the Aqua Follies band. When they look at each other across the audience, a silent, yet powerful, link is formed. Despite the law, and all of the things that are against them, these two men form a deep connection in the space of a few days. This story touched me on so many levels. As a child, I remember watching synchronized swimmers on TV and I also performed a very small routine one summer during a show at my local swimming pool. So, reading about the Aqua Follies and the Seattle Seafair (an actual event that still takes place) brought back a lot of memories for me. To read about Russell trying to suppress who he really is and the things that he and Skip have to do just so they can be together was at times heart wrenching. I wanted to hate Russell's "girlfriend," Susie but she had her own things to deal with. Aqua Follies gave me a bit of a book hangover; it's a story that I will be thinking about for a while and considering how many books I read, that's saying something. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***