Aldwych West, an eighty-year-old modern-day aristocrat living alone in his Manhattan townhouse, is used to having what he wants. And when he sets eyes on August Dupond, a strong, stunningly beautiful soloist in the New York City Ballet, he decides he must have him. Soon they strike up a closeness that falls between the blurry lines of friendship, sponsorship, and love, and August moves in with Aldwych. But eventually August starts bringing home other men, and a formidable woman in Aldwych's circle named Ernestine also takes a deep interest in the young, enchanting star. Messy entanglements and fierce rivalries ensue, and the result is an unforgettable, outrageous tragicomedy that explores the many layers of love and sexual desire as only Edmund White can.
White’s literary soap opera is engaging and compulsively readable, and in typical White fashion, there is more than a soupçon of sex—much more in fact, and much of it graphic. Despite everything, Aldwych remains in love with August to the end. He has our sympathy.
An outrageous, tender novel that complicates contemporary ideas of what traditional, 'appropriate' desires and relationships look like ... White forces readers to become intimate with what they might otherwise denounce ... White keeps his journey engaging, hilarious and moving throughout ... This novel is as mischievous as it is thought-provoking. It is Edmund White at his very best.
Audacious ... White is a master of social comedy and wry observations ... Explicit descriptions of August’s sex life, meanwhile, not only titillate but add poignancy to the portrayal of Aldwych’s elusive desire. Readers will delight in this immersion into a lurid world of passion.