When a young, wildly successful ad executive is unexpectedly fired from a 1970s Madison Avenue ad agency, he must come to terms with his closeted identity as a Stonewall-era gay man and differentiate the truly meaningful from the inconsequential in Baker’s debut.
Tim Halladay is nothing less than the golden boy at his high-profile New York ad agency. Recently promoted to vice president at the age of 27, he is the youngest company officer. Immersed in an opulent world of three-martini lunches and exorbitant expense accounts, Tim is living the dream. But when he is unexpectedly fired, his cloud bursts and he comes crashing back down to Earth. He soon realizes that, with a mere $300 in savings, his sizable credit card debt has morphed into a menacing leviathan that threatens to turn his world upside down. With no truly close friends to turn to, Tim is forced to look within himself for solace. At this point in the book the author begins a series of flashbacks; these detailed memories give readers an expansive depth of insight into Tim’s character and how he weathers the soul-searching dilemma in which he now finds himself. Baker nimbly leads readers back and forth through time, interweaving the defining moments of this young man’s life into the events of a long weekend. As Tim’s dysfunctional family and stuffy upbringing come into focus, the reason he’s chosen to keep his sexuality hidden becomes increasingly obvious: His father has long made it clear that Tim’s penchant for theater and his not-so-macho demeanor are utter disappointments. Tim will never fit neatly into his father’s country club mold, and they both know it. Nor is his mother much help, largely powerless in the patriarchal culture of 1950s Connecticut. Tim’s rejection of his father’s ideal has heavily influenced the man he has become. Readers from all backgrounds will find themselves empathizing with Baker’s protagonist as he struggles to reconcile his high-profile life with his true identity.
A candid portrait of a man torn between two worlds, whose struggle will reverberate in readers’ souls.