When the narrator finds a dusty diary in a second hand bookstore, he learns of intimate details in the life of Joseph.
During the spring of 1962, Joseph is working in a department store and living at the YMCA. Joseph, who is in his 40s, has worked at the store for many years. One day, Clint, a man in his 20s, starts working at the store and then Joseph sees him again later living at the YMCA as well. They begin to spend time together, taking lunch during breaks and going to movies. They fall in love while navigating the need to stay in the closet at work. Joseph has never been happier. But Clint has not been fully honest with Joseph. He is keeping secrets about his family and what is expected of him, and that may just put an end to their relationship.
This is a bit of a different approach to a story. We meet the narrator, who is never identified, and the current year is not known either. The narrator begins reading the diary and we are thrust inside of Joseph’s head and intimate thoughts as we are in his diary. He lives a quiet life working at a job he has had for years. His only real source of companionship is what he finds in the steam room at the YMCA and the balcony seats at the movie theater. Since it’s his diary, everything is through him in a narrative that, well, reads like a personal journal. At times, to progress the story or to gain a better understanding of the scene, more specific details are offered that did lose the diary feel for a few moments.
This is a quick read that will have you moving through journal entries quickly. It is so very easy to get caught up in the lives and relationship of Joseph and Clint. The era they live in and the secrets they must keep are evident. Joseph mentions being very careful with his diary, so how it winds up in a second hand bookstore remains a mystery. The journal is just shy of two months worth of entries and it is important to keep in mind that the title of the book only has springtime in it. And when it ends, dammit, only the narrator gets to continue on with their story and I have no information on whether this story will continue in another book.
So, yeah, it was well written from a unique perspective, and the characters, their relationship, the era all translated well to turning page after page quickly. The ending…leaves us hanging.
Note: In some places the publisher’s blurb indicates that the MC is named David. There was name change to the character and the blurb has not been updated. The diary does in fact belong to Joseph.