Holding the Man: a heart-warming, yet destroying, memoir of love

When I visit my mum's place, where my sister stores the majority of her book collection, I always end up leaving with a stack of books to read. However, on my most recent trip, my sister handed over just one book, which in itself was an achievement considering I usually have to steal them from her room and return them without her noticing. This time she handed over Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave. 

For some reason, I must have been living under a rock as I had never encountered this book, let alone the movie or the stage production. And I can tell you now that I have been severely missing out, because as soon as I settled into my semi-comfy seat on the train and opened the book, I was sold. Any spare moment I could squeeze out my day was devoted to learning all about Tim Conigrave's life, and becoming quite invested in his 15-year relationship with John Caleo, a boy he met at school.


Although you'll find out the major plot line (if you can call it that considering it's a memoir) if you just flip over the Penguin Classic and read the synopsis on the back cover, I was really disappointed to be told essentially what was going to happen when I was only a quarter of the way through the book. If you don't want any revelations brought to the surface early, I thoroughly recommend not looking at the back cover or doing any googling whatsoever.

Overcoming that slight hurdle, I put my discovery in the back of my mind and continued on what is both a heart-warming and destroying story about the highs and the lows that Tim and John went through — from some family disapproval, separation, and the strength they had to muster when faced with a variety of situations.

I really don't want to give too much away, so if you haven't read the book, I thoroughly recommend you do so. Next on my list is the film and the play!