Literary Fiction Short Stories

The Weddings – Alexander Chee

on
22 February 2020
The Weddings Book Cover The Weddings
Inheritance Collection
Alexander Chee
Short Stories
Amazon Original Publiching
19, December 2019
Kindle
41

For Jack Cho, a fortysomething gay man, being able to marry someone he loves is so unfamiliar it’s terrifying. Then a wedding invitation from a college friend brings about a collision with those fears—and his own secret history. Jack and his new boyfriend, Caleb, are attending the wedding of Jack’s estranged straight friend Scott. No sooner do the guests start to mingle than questions arise about relationships, tradition, Jack’s feelings for the groom, and what’s at stake as he navigates daunting territory, both new and old. In this wry and surprising short story, award-winning author Alexander Chee extends an invitation to the party—and awakening—of a lifetime.

Attraction

The Weddings, is an intriguing short story looking at gay relationships within the dynamics of marriage, somewhat satirical, somewhat deferential. Marriage, now a legally recognised possibility that has opened up for gay partnerships but the same criteria and decisions need to be made on a personal level. None shout louder than loyalty, commitment and truth.

Jack Cho is a forty-two-year-old Korean man, invited to a gay wedding along with his partner Caleb. The wedding stirs emotions in Jack and the seed of a desire to consider a marriage with Caleb begins. Shortly after this first wedding, Jack is invited to the wedding of a friend from the past, Scott, and his Korean girlfriend Soon-mi. Jack and Caleb accept but for Jack, the decision has an emotional draw, as he and Scott have a hidden history.

Scott is enthralled with Asian culture and people, and while leading a heterosexual public persona, had a fling with Jack, whom he claims was the only man he’d ever been with. Jack has a deep attraction to Scott and has always yearned for the time they spent together, something he has kept from Caleb. Caleb has shown restraint by not pushing the burning questions – what are they doing at the wedding and what is the history between Jack and Scott.

What was fascinating in the story was the mix of emotions and scenarios which were painted so carefully, with such wonderful writing. The blend of desire, disloyalty, lies, falsehoods, and commitment, keep the story engrossing as we watch how each engagement acts out often with a huge flavouring of irony.

The Weddings, is the fifth book of the Inheritance Collection and I would recommend reading it. Not my favourite in the series but a solid story 4 stars.

TAGS
Peter Donnelly
Ireland

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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