Soon, Fitzgerald is joined at the hospital by the person he cares for most, 21-year-old Orlando Rosario, a young man training to be a priest himself—and the object of Fitzgerald’s affections since Orlando was 14, when the priest first seduced him. Writing from both men’s perspectives, Cabrera handles this charged material with rare sensitivity, empathy, and intelligence, never shying away from the priest’s grooming, the pleasure and pain both have experienced, or the serious intimacy the men now share. Shrewdly controlled prose sparkles with feeling and slices with insights, many challenging, many aching.
A spirit of mercy powers this humane story of transgression, abuse, sin, and connection. Sexually frank, emotionally bold, and always arresting, Homo Novus digs deep into relationships most fiction shies away from, laying bare the toll of repression and secret-keeping, while charting a rich generational shift at an impossibly perilous moment for gay men. The final pages will stir tears from readers of serious fiction.
Takeaway: This stellar novel lays bare the heart and secrets of a priest with AIDS in 1987.
Great for fans of: Jaime Manrique’s Like This Afternoon Forever, Michael J. O'Loughlin’s Hidden Mercy.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A