Book Review: It Had to Be You

Title: It Had To Be You
Author: Timothy James Beck
Call Number: 10916

Review: The playful panache and wit of writers like Neal Drinnan and Matthew Rettenmund are evoked by newcomer Beck, spinning a charming, humorously appealing tale of 30-something New York transplant Daniel Stephenson, who chucks his famously popular drag queen alter ego “Princess 2Di4” for a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Faced with an uncertain future and devoid of any actual employment experience, Daniel is temporarily kept afloat by a generous check and some good advice from his wealthy and wise Aunt Jen. Now there’s lots of time to cultivate his green thumb in the “comfort zone” of his backyard garden, and love looms nearby as Blaine, a beautifully mysterious stranger, sporadically appears in a window high above his garden. But what entanglements the weeds can’t offer, a bevy of interpersonal dramatics certainly do: jealous fights erupt at his old venue Club Chaos, Daniel’s old drag wardrobe is sadly auctioned off and ex-boyfriend Jeremy and Jeremy’s new love carelessly blur the lines of their individual friendships with Daniel. Adding to the mix, his friend Ken’s health begins to deteriorate from AIDS even as he manages an awkward administrative position at Blaine’s advertising firm. Beck’s narrative is crisply charming but overlong, too often indulging in the many deliberations of his melodramatic protagonist. Once over these hurdles, however, readers will find the overall mood light and the action (romantic or otherwise) absorbing enough to keep the pages turning. Beck’s debut delivers fluffy, uncomplicated, G-rated entertainment for those who prefer their gay fiction whipped to a frothy consistency.
Source of Review: Publisher’s Review Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.