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Tart and Soul by Storm Grant

Tart and Soul

by Storm Grant

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A short novel, strange but interesting.

Cam is a former Marine: after a mental breakdown due to a disastrous mission, he retired from the Corps and now he lives with his mother, a drill sergent with a skirt. Grace, his mother, is a notorious Mistress, she owns a very profitable brothel in San Francisco and even if she loves her son, she does nothing for free. And so a reluctant Cam finds himself sometime bartending and sometime whoring for his mother, and even if he is gay, when he is with a customer, woman or man is the same, it's not doing for pleasure but for work.

Seeing that adding a man to her stable improves the profit, Grace asks Cam to 'recruiting' other young man, and Cam meets Joshua, a young man in obvious need of a friend. But Cam has no heart to bring Joshua back to his mother, and so he lets him go, hoping for him to find a better life. But maybe living in a brothel with a loving mother, even if a business woman, is not a so bad perspective in comparison on what he could find on the streets.

The story edges on the absurd. Both Cam than Joshua pasts are so unbelievable and excessive that are almost a genial twist in the usual story. And Grace is a wonderful character, almost better than his son Cam. Tart and Soul is a light tale, it seems like some old movies setting in difficult and dangerous era, but inside the movie all goes right, and the reality never breaks the good mood of the story. Even some pretty ugly events, like Joshua's raping, remain untold and refer to in a lightly way. And the resolution to the most difficult situations is always simple and fast.

Both Cam and Joshua are lost souls in need of a safe haven that they find in the 'loving' embrace of Grace (even if Grace calculates how much money she could gain having two lost souls as her employees...)

Tart and Soul is not very long, less than 70 pages, but I think it deserves more, both on the same story and also telling us something more on what happens next.

  elisa.rolle | May 31, 2008 |
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