Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Paul Kafka-Gibbons’ novel Dupont Circle (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) is a joy to read, like peach ice cream on a warm spring day. This is the second or third time I’ve read it, and I think I enjoy it more with each reading. It concerns a judge on the District Court of Appeals, Bailey Allard, a widower of 66, who takes a roommate into his large O Street townhouse. She’s a 26-year-old law student with whom Bailey ends up falling in love. In the midst of this, the Court of Appeals takes a gay marriage case, especially pertinent to Bailey because of his son Jon and Jon’s partner Peter, who’ve all but adopted Jon’s niece and nephew from his sister, who suffers from a veritable cocktail of depression and mental illness. The novel sounds soapy, but it’s not; it’s written with a calm grace and good humor by Kafka-Gibbons. I especially enjoyed reading it now that I have some familiarity with Dupont Circle and its surrounding environs myself, and will have even more after my trip there in early June (yeah, I’m excited – it’s been 3 years since I took a trip-cum-vacation by myself). The first time I read Dupont Circle, however, I still lived in Indiana, and enjoyed it greatly then, as well. As you likely will, too. I can very easily see this becoming one of those novels I come to read every year or so; that’s how highly I can recommend it.

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