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Friday, May 22, 2009

Review - The Janitor by Jan Irving

Title: The Janitor

Author: Jan Irving

Publisher: Loose Id

Buy The Janitor Here!

Rating: You Gotta Read

Reviewer: Laura

I’m a naturally optimistic type of person, you know? Yeah, I think good things will happen, only they usually don’t. Take Noel: even though he’s educated and rich and he don’t think he’s even gay, I want to belong to him. I want him to take me completely---Dane Connelly

Dane Connelly is a gay janitor and boxer with a soft heart and a simple outlook--he wants to meet the right man, someone who will look past his macho sport and put him in the place of a submissive. He wants to fall in love and belong to his partner.

On the surface, Noel Atherton, an intellectual, shy, and sexually repressed university graduate student with a crippled leg, could not be the dominant lover that Dane longs for. But after their first meeting, when Dane disables the fire alarm in the library and lights a cigarette, Noel is drawn from his shell. Soon, Noel needs to touch Dane, exploring his sexuality for the first time. And both learn that looks can be deceiving.

However, Noel's controlling father is appalled by the relationship and quietly arranges to get Dane out of the way and punish him for daring to love a man so far above his station.

Ms. Irving pens a very compelling, strong-hearted book. While the reader is pulled into the world of boxing, the underlying current of Dane's constant low self-esteem is ironically mixed in. Most boxers have an ego that usually won't fit through the door. Dane boxes because it is all he has known. He is a simple man with simple needs. When he meets Noel, the bookish man with a doctorate, he sees all he has been missing. My heart became so involved in this love story that I found myself thinking of the characters while I was at work because I so desperately wanted to find out how it ended. The love story of Neal and Dane will stay with the reader long after the final round bell sounds. The Janitor is a book not to be overlooked or put into a "to be read" pile. It demands to be read and appreciated for what it is; a glimpse into the purest of souls, the most innocent of hearts and the incomparable quest to love and be loved merely for who you are.

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