Memoir, LGBTQA+ | 304 pages | 06.04.2019 | St. Martin’s Press
What a lovely memoir! Although I read this book, I could hear Tan’s voice the entire time as if he was speaking directly to me. The conversational tone throughout the story fits the theme extremely well. The first chapter was a bit rough as it started off reading a bit immature (and this is my only gripe with this book). In hindsight though, it helped to make this book feel special as I could see with every chapter how the author grew as a writer. Indeed, Tan France grew in the story and his writing skills improved along the way. I think this would make for a great audiobook; read by him of course.
Tan wrote a very personal book and I felt honored in a way that he let me into his world. I learned about his childhood. I learned about his marriage. And I learned about his businesses. All from a place of his own insecurities and struggles. I admire that he let us, the reader, be part of this. I could relate to many of his anxieties, dreams, and ambitions alike; and it made me somehow not feel alone with things.
This book has a nice flow and evolution of events. It starts off with Tan’s childhood in England. Here, he makes an immediate impact by discussing his struggles as a kid in an England that isn’t quite as a progressive and a happy melting pot nation as I had believed. In fact, it caught me off guard that he experienced so many racist undertones in his day to day life. Despite that and despite his family’s conservative beliefs and religion, he was able to explore many of his interests early on and credits that fact to his success today. He then moves on to meeting the love of his life and now-husband. Their relationship and story are inspiring. He freely discusses their differences and how they work through them. And of course, he then transitions to his endeavors in the fashion industry and his clothing businesses, which ultimately led him to the show Queer Eye where most of us know him from. Throughout this journey, he reveals a lot about himself in a way that is easy and fresh.
This is a quick read, but not because it’s fluff but because once you start you can’t put the book down.
P.S.: I delight in the fact that the title of this book has several meanings. Well done!
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.