Akey’s story-telling is highly enjoyable. The minutiae of a romantic, loving relationship are keenly described, and with welcome candor addresses the experience of being a Playboy-ogling suburban white kid who goes on to marry a Chinese woman in an era when Caucasian-Asian relationships were rare. Together, the two faced the challenges of trying to make it in the arts, which Akey describes with incisive wit, noting that in “the literary/publishing world…you couldn’t get established unless you were already established.” He characterizes the choice faced by Lucy, an artist working in apartment-filling tapestries and then large abstract paintings, with empathy: “She could choose to be quietly satisfied or clamorously frustrated.”
“I remember every kiss, every caress,” Akey writes, and his account of being completely lovesick and then seeing passion give way to a working partnership and eventually a breakup is intense, precise, and alive with feeling. Even familiar feelings–”I still loved looking into Lucy’s limpid brown eyes. She, apparently, took no such pleasure in gazing into my muddy greenish ones”–have a freshness and power. Readers of memoir or late 20th century New York or American lifestyle history will enjoy this romantic, realistic narrative.
Takeaway: A touching account of an interracial romance in 1980s Brooklyn, alive with feeling and insight.
Great for fans of: Gabriel Cohen’s Storms Can’t Hurt the Sky, Nicole Chung’s All You Can Ever Know.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A