A Passionate Engagement.

Author:Romeo, Lisa
Position:Book review

Ken Harvey (author); A PASSIONATE ENGAGEMENT; Aequitas Books (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) $18.00 ISBN: 9781929355686

Byline: Lisa Romeo

Ken Harvey wants to be married, a reasonable enough desire, since he's been part of a cohabitating couple for nearly a decade. But little is easy for a gay couple, even one living in Massachusetts before, during, and after the same-sex legal marriage fight was waged.

Harvey, a middle school teacher and the author of a previously acclaimed short story collection, writes with uncommon insight and compassion. Without a hint of "poor-me-ism," Harvey deconstructs the effects of the unfolding political drama in his own living room, where he and his partner-turned-fiancA[c] watch, discuss, and wait, as judges and legislators decide their future rights.

Slowly, and then with a vigor even he finds surprising, Harvey steps into the role of political activist, armed with signs, solidarity, and hope. His partner prefers a more measured wait-and-see approach, and the ongoing conversation between the two, both spoken and not, is rendered in authentic, sensitive language.

As they make their tentative way along the path from partners to pre-marital counseling, Harvey and his fiancA[c], like all couples, must integrate impending marriage into the fuller spectrum of their lives. The author weaves in stepchildren and one ex-wife, career considerations, work colleagues, and home-buying, to create a full circle feeling: this couple is committed and moving toward marriage while life swirls around them, sometimes to their...

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