The Complexities of Love

The Complexities of Love

4.77 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Edited by  , Prepared for publication by 

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`Intriguing and messily realistic...` - Kirkus Reviews

Mark Cooney grows up aware that there is something different about him and hopes that his parents will never find out.

Mark's best friend Dave disappeared when he was thirteen and returned ten years later. Mark became more and more vulnerable as they got closer. It came with a price.

Tormented by his inner demons and refusing to be controlled by anyone, Dave reveals a secret that he has kept since childhood, which leads to a terrible misunderstanding that will have grave consequences for Mark and his family.

The Complexities of Love is a coming-of-age story about Mark as he confronts the truth about his family and his identity.

All he yearns for is for Dave to return his love, but will that happen, or will he find someone else?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 252 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 14mm | 372g
  • English
  • 1777151848
  • 9781777151843
  • 1,117,625

Review quote

`The discussions of family bonds, complex sibling relationships, finding a place to belong, and the reveal of Mark's family history are intriguing and messily realistic.` - Kirkus Reviews

`Heartbreaking... I found myself rooting for Mark to accept himself... and ultimately find true love. - such a profound novel.` - Mario Dell'Olio, author of New Men: Bonds of Brotherhood.

"Ginny: 5 stars

To be perfectly honest, I originally bought this book to support a fellow author on Twitter. I didn’t find the subject matter particularly appealing, and I wasn’t overly eager to read it. But, while a large part of supporting the author network involves purchasing books, an even more significant part is posting an honest review after actually reading the novel from cover to cover. So I read the book.

I’m delighted that I had the privilege of doing so.

Firstly, it was eye-opening because I stupidly didn’t realize that gay guys were so ostracized. It prompted me to do a bit of research, and I was horrified to note that it was a crime to be a homosexual in South Africa from 1948–1994 and carried a 7-year jail sentence. Just for loving somebody. Unthinkable! Same-sex marriage only became legal in 2006. But, this book is set in Australia, and same-sex marriage was only legalized in 2017.

Mark’s loneliness, torment, and anguish seeped out from each page. I just wanted to intervene and give the poor lad a hug and tell him it would be okay. Which, of course, it wasn’t….

The characters are so realistic that I spent most of the book passionately hating Mark’s father. Then I ended up… well, I’m not going to spoil the story. You’ll have to read it for yourself. It all ties up nicely in a shambolic knot.

It’s well-written, believable, and heart-breaking in places. But be warned, it could also make you hungry. Mark is learning to be a chef and does a lot of delicious cooking!"

"Sue: 5 stars

I found a preview of Chapter 1 of The Complexities of Love on Amazon and was hooked instantly. I bought a copy of the book on The Book Depository. The author knows her stuff. It is well researched and a good read. I really empathized with Mark and Dave and the way they were treated in society back then. If you like YA novels, romance or LGBT then you'd enjoy this book. If you want to know more about the author and the book you can watch Ardain Isma's interview with her here:"

"Nancy: 5 stars

Mark is bereft of romantic love. Secrets and lies test his family bonds as he drifts through life as a gay man. If you think that this is a story about boy meets boy and falls in love then this story isn't for you. It is written in first person and weaves through Mark's life daily in a way that made me feel like I was there. I really felt for Mark and Dave and all that they both went through as well as what Mark endured with his family. I found that this story is still relatable to what is happening today and the author has researched her topic well."

"Emily: 5 stars

Mark and Dave . . .

This is an emotional story of knowing you are different and trying to navigate life while figuring out where you belong. Until you find you are not alone, it can be a frightening journey trying to figure everything out. The author does a very good job with this one, and the readers will experience a whirlwind of emotions as they connect with the characters. This is definitely worth reading, even though the path will not always be smooth."

"Ben: 5 stars

I'm not gay, but I really felt for the protagonist, Mark and his friend, Dave in the book. I agree with Kirkus Review the storyline was intriguing and messily realistic. I could tell the author had researched the book well and things that happen in it can still happen today. It's tragic how people treat one another re: in families and friends. It's much more than boy meets boy again after 10 years and there is a twist."

"Gavin: 5 stars

A wonderful story about a young man's struggles from childhood. The Complexities of Love shows the difficulties that many families face both internally and externally. The characters and story develop really well and is a very enjoyable read.
Well recommended."

"Eric: 5 stars"

"Melisa: 5 stars"

"Wanda: 4 stars"
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Rating details

22 ratings
4.77 out of 5 stars
5 86% (19)
4 5% (1)
3 9% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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