by Patrick C Notchtree
A trilogy telling the author’s life story told through his avatar, Simon; a tale of love and loyalty, betrothal, and betrayal, triumph and tragedy; novels that chart one man’s attempts to rise above the legacy of a traumatic childhood.
The first book deals with Simon’s childhood friendship and eventual love affair with an older boy, the second the trauma of his teenage years and early adulthood, the third his struggle to maintain equilibrium and the catastrophic consequences of his failure at one point to achieve that.
It is a fictionalised biography, written because it tells a strong story which raises many issues over six decades, the post-war baby boomer generation who in many ways never had it so good. Although it’s the author’s life, names and places are obfuscated to protect the innocent – and the guilty.
His own experience is probably unique, yet will strike a chord with many others who have been through similar things, as well as those with an interest in such matters, either personal or professional, such as police and probation officers, criminologists with an interest in this field or those investigating the developing ‘queer theory’.
It’s a varied, exciting, demanding, sometimes terrifying life story.
It is not pornographic but is sexually explicit in places. It is not suitable for those under 18 years or who find explicit gay sexuality, sexual narrative, including sexual violence, offensive.
Katy P: Very powerful and thought provoking read, 23 November 2015
An emotionally exhausting read, but well worth it. I’ve been through the whole range of emotions – crying for Simon, disappointment in him, anger with him; you name it, I’ve felt it.
Brings home how difficult life was (and possibly still is) for gay men. The twists and turns and ups and downs of Simon’s life were addictive. I couldn’t wait to resume reading every evening, but he was always on my mind when I went to sleep.
I really felt I knew Simon well.
Lewis S. Horvitz: An amazing book!!, September 24, 2013
This beautifully written story about the power of love, and the ability to forgive oneself is the most moving book I have read in a long time. Bravo!
Nancy (USA): Tough to read but worth it, July 11, 2013
After reading the first book “The Book of Daniel” I felt such anguish at its ending so I downloaded this trilogy “The Clouds Still Hang” which continues with the two additional books of the story. During the second book, my stomach was a wreck, my guts were twisted. This story is tough to read but well worth it. I just wanted to fix all the problems Simon faced throughout the remaining story. So many people with their own agendas causing situations that Simon couldn’t control. Even at the end of the book, I feel like a good cry.
About the Author
A post war ‘baby-boomer’, Patrick knew within that he was gay from a young age but struggled with that for most of his life, and the book reflects that and how after much trauma, he emerged at last true to himself. He now lives in the north of England with his wife and has his son and granddaughters nearby. Much of his life is reflected in the biographical trilogy “The Clouds Still Hang”, so to repeat too many biographical details here would be something of a ‘spoiler’!