Mulligans, by Charlie David
Based on the Original Film
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Chase never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson—a connection he fears he’ll lose if he tells Tyler he’s gay. Keeping his sexuality secret becomes harder for Chase as he joins Tyler and his family at their idyllic lake house for the summer. It grows more and more difficult for Chase to avoid Tyler’s attempts to set him up with girls, and he’s tired of making excuses. Chase is ready to embrace the man he is, but he’s afraid of what it will cost him.
The Davidsons seem like the perfect family, but Chase soon realizes there’s trouble in paradise. Tyler’s dad, Nathan, has done everything to make a good life for his wife and children—including suppressing his sexuality and denying his needs for years. But like Chase, Nathan is growing weary of living a lie. What begins as an offer of support from Chase grows into an unexpected attraction that will have profound effects on everyone. Chase and the Davidsons are about to learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that perfection isn’t a requirement for friendship and love.
First Edition published by Palari Publishing LLp, 2010.
Coming of Age
Please note that this book does not have a HEA ending.
See the review for more information.
Based on a 2007 movie of the same name, Mulligans is about an all-American couple desperately trying to hold on to their image as the perfect family. The story focuses on Chase, a young college student who is accompanying his best friend Tyler to his family’s house on the lake for summer vacation. Chase is hoping to use the summer to work up the courage to let Tyler know he’s gay, a fact Tyler has not yet picked up on despite Chase turning down every offer Tyler has made to set him up with a multitude of girls at school.
In the meantime, Tyler’s parents, Stacey and Nathan Mulligan, are dealing with secrets of their own. Stacey is painfully aware that Nathan is hiding something from her but instead of confronting him, she channels her fears into trying to create the perfect home for her family by being the very epitome of a model wife and mother. Nathan would rather spend his time on the golf course instead of facing his dissatisfaction with the way his life is turning out. A successful architect (and as an aside, he must be really damn successful if he can support his stay-at-home wife, two children – one of whom is in college – and have two homes all at the tender age of 36. And oh yeah, him and Stacey were teens when Tyler was born but he *still* managed to finish high school and college and get to the top of his profession. By 36. Uh huh, sure), he indulges his passion for golf and sports cars but is still dissatisfied and feels that something important is missing. That something becomes clear when him and Chase meet. Suddenly, Nathan is confronted with feelings and emotions he thought long repressed. When an unexpected night alone at the beach house results in a night of passion between him and Chase, it sets off a chain reaction that will change things irrevocably.
Having not seen the movie, I’m not sure if this book covers any new territory that might have been excluded from the film. It does, however, read very much like a script rather than a novel and often I found that scenes would end rather suddenly as if there should have been a fade out or a close-up of someone’s face in place of words.
Told from the rotating POVs of Chase, Nathan and Stacey, I found Stacey’s character the most difficult to relate to. She seemed more like a stereotypical 50’s housewife rather than a modern woman. Afraid to confront her husband with her suspicions, she chooses to ignore her gut feelings and instead, spends her time making healthy snacks, perfect meals and organizing neighbourhood BBQ’s. I wouldn’t say she is wilfully ignorant, but she purposely refuses to act in order to let Nathan come to his own conclusions about his sexuality. Unfortunately, Nathan seems pretty clueless until Chase comes along, but even Chase manages to suss out Nathan’s sexuality almost at the same time Nathan does. Once that happens, things between them progress pretty quickly. Don’t expect to get your hot scene though as most of the action takes place off the page (fade to black).
At the conclusion of the story, we’re left with a very dissatisfying ending, one that might have worked well in the movie (with beautiful music and lingering last looks) but is wholly disappointing to a reader. Warning: there is no HEA so don’t go in expecting one. In fact, there’s barely an HFN so if either one of those things is a requirement (and who doesn’t love an HEA??), this really isn’t the book for you. Save yourself the trouble and maybe watch the movie instead.
Charlie David has been a host for for several TV shows and has appeared as musical guest on dozens of radio shows. In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York. Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.
A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment Inc., a production company whose film credits include Mulligans, Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper, Studlebrity and Positive Youth.
He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include motorcycle cruises, high adrenaline encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving and sports. He resides in Montréal, Canada with his boyfriend when he’s not living out of a suitcase.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.