When the Right One Comes Along
by Paul Alan Fahey
Reviewed by Chuck Willman
I love a good romantic tale that also brings you back to days gone by; allowing you to reminisce and recall that special someone (or those special people) that have helped to mold the way you see love, and love others now. And there’s nothing like a well-written, historical and contemporary book that plants you in the middle of characters that are believable, likeable, but with faults; in other words, real.
That’s what you get with Paul Alan Fahey’s latest novella, When the Right One Comes Along.
Philip, the main character, is an English professor, and has had a series of romantic relationships against the backdrop of the early days of the epidemic, with references to Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan. The story begins in 1985 and spans twenty-five years. He’s been a caretaker, watching his best friend die. And despite the threats in finding intimacy back then, Philip is sure there is a Mr. Right perfectly suited for him out there—somewhere. Philip is a man who desperately needs love, and is willing to put himself in the trenches of the war in search of that special someone. At one point, he succeeds, meeting a successful, handsome man he thinks is his perfect mate, and the answer to all of his prayers. But the outcome (which I won’t give away here—trust me, it’s a great twist to the story!) doesn’t work out as planned.
Paul Alan Fahey’s writing is clean, easy and flowing—lyrical and accessible—making it very enjoyable. He doesn’t avoid the harsh realities of death or illness. While he’s taking care of his best friend in the beginning of the story, the details of AIDS and its horrible effects aren’t ignored at all. But they are an important aspect of the story in terms of how he wants to love, and be loved.
This is a wonderful, well-written novella that I believe many of “us” will relate to on many different levels. That’s what makes this story so unique and good. I hope you’ll give When the Right One Comes Along a chance. I think you’ll find a writer’s work (with other novellas available that are just as wonderful!) well-worth getting to know.
Chuck Willman has had poetry, erotica, and essays published or forthcoming in a variety of anthologies, journals, and magazines. He is also the author of After (forthcoming from JMS Books). He lives in Las Vegas with his partner of twenty-four years.