Review by Vivian “Vivalicious” Darkbloom
I was wintering in Antigua (Bermuda is so passé) when my cell phone started vibrating madly as if it were the perfect sex toy, in fact, I momentarily contemplated dropping it down my bermuda shorts but both fate and common sense intervened and I answered it.
“Are you Vivian Darkbloom?” inquired a male voice with a Bostonian accent. Which means he said “DAK BLOOM.” I let it pass. I’d just had three Godkas (guava juice + vodka) and was feeling no pain.
“Who wants to know?”
“The Boston Police, that’s who. We have your little friend ms. licious in lockup again.”
“You gonna put up the bail? I’ve got your Visa number committed to memory.”
I was torn between telling him he should just have miss x. licious committed, period, when I heard the old girl yelling in the background, sounding like Dean Martin on horse tranquilizers, “Capri pants? Why the hell am I wearing capri pants?”
“What’s it gonna be, sweetheart?” the cop asked.
I don’t know if it was the Godkas, the blinding sun, or the cabana girl squeezing my inner thigh, but I panicked and replied, “Uh, look, just tell her I’ll make it up to her somehow. I’ll write a couple reviews for her site or something. Okay?”
Then I threw the phone into the pool, looked into Martine’s eyes…and thus, dear reader, here we are.
Our first review is for “Agape” by Mayt, a sequel to the story “Hesed.” First, let it be said that I like ubers where the couples seem utterly improbable. A blind girl scout and a hooker? A Republican and a lesbian separatist anarchist? Bring it on, baby. When there’s real conflict, it’s always fascinating to see what’s at play in the background, between the lines and interactions of the characters.
You really do have quite the improbable couple in “Agape,” which continues the story of Beth, an Episcopalian priest, and Nicole, a paganistic spiritual renegade of sorts (i.e., a heathen) who happens to look fabulous in turtlenecks. (When God Created Uber-Xena…I mean, really, why fight it?) This is an uber of ideas: You have two fiercely intelligent women trying to maintain the delicate balance of their relationship while advocating strong commitments to their individual beliefs. At times the dialogue contains discourses on religion, God, love, and desire. It may not seem believable at first, but once you remind yourself that you are eavesdropping on two very smart, well-educated people, all you can do is enjoy the rollercoaster ride. Unlike stories with bombs, car chases, and guns, this one requires you to have your brain switched onto a different gear, and the rewards are well worth the effort.
To her credit, the author never appears to side with one main character over another; in a story loaded with such ideologically weighty subject matter, this is no easy feat. Even the secondary characters are fleshed out and written with empathy, their strengths and weaknesses apparent (this is especially true of Jacob, Nicole’s buddy and theological sparring partner).
So I hoist my Godka in a toast to Mayt, to God if She is out there, and to brunettes in turtlenecks….