‘Mr. Loverman (is) a dazzling, gorgeously textured portrayal of a gay, British-Caribbean late bloomer and his infectious zest for life, language and love.’Huffington Post USA
‘Mr. Loverman (is) a dazzling, gorgeously textured portrayal of a gay, British-Caribbean late bloomer and his infectious zest for life, language and love. In fact, one of the most remarkable feats of the novel is show how a septuagenarian can possess the kind of sizzle and sexual passion that would make most millennials look like poor relations of Mary Poppins…It must be noted that by writing directly in the voice of an older, gay Caribbean man, Bernardine Evaristo, who’s British-Nigerian and a woman, has executed an extraordinary act of ventriloquism that crosses gender boundaries as well as racial, cultural, sexual and linguistic differences. The fact that she accomplishes all of this with lyricism, authenticity and compassion is not only an act of bravery and confidence but a testament to her virtuosic capabilities as a writer. If the novelist’s job is to make sense of the world, Bernardine Evaristo’s entire oeuvre attests to her desire to upend preconceived notions of what is and isn’t impossible and reflect that mirror right back at her readers. Mr. Loverman is a powerful, morally rigorous and joyful novel and Bernardine Evaristo is a writer at the height of her imaginative powers.’ Huffington Post, USA
‘This novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men.’ Publishers Weekly (USA) Starred Review
‘A brilliant study of great characters in modern London. As such – as Mr Barrington Walker Esq himself might have acknowledged – it is very clever indeed.’ – Independent on Sunday
‘Fear and loathing of homosexuals has a long history in the West Indies….Bernardine Evaristo, in her funny, brave new novel, Mr Loverman …explores issues of homosexuality in the British West Indies and London’s West Indian diaspora community… I loved Mr Loverman…this tender, even trailblazing novel. – The Spectator
‘Heartbreaking, yet witty, this is a story that also needed to be told.’ Book of the Year —Observer
‘This riproaring, full-bodied riff on sex, secrecy and family is Bernardine Evaristo’s seventh book. If you don’t yet know her work, you should – she says things about modern Britain that no one else does’ — Guardian
‘Evaristo’s second prose novel similarly transforms our often narrow perceptions of gay men in England. The familiar trope of the closet is deployed, but contested and reworked in winningly credible, moving ways…The effect is variously comical, agonising and, ultimately, moving. Evaristo tells us of lives we imagined we knew, while rearranging much more than the furniture.’ – Independent
‘Evaristo has a lot going on in this unusual urban romance, but beneath her careful study of race and sexuality is a beautiful love story. Not many writers could have two old men having sexual intercourse in a bedsit to a soundtrack of Shabba Ranks’s Mr Loverman and save it from bad taste, much less make it sublime. But the hero of this book, and his canny creator, make everything taste just fine’ – Telegraph
‘A pacey fable about summoning both the daring and the art to live a truthful life, and her writing simply fizzes with musical energy’ – Sunday Express
‘This poignant tragi-comedy goes some way towards exploring engrained prejudice.’ –Time Out
‘Few writers since Hanif Kureishi have tackled the subject of homosexuality in British Asian or black culture. Evaristo’s sensitively drawn narrative captures the erotic attraction between two ageing lovers, while exploring the relationship of tender companionship.’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain.’ Booklist (USA)
‘Off the chart original and funny.’ Sainsbury’s Magazine
‘In Mr Loverman, Bernardine Evaristo comes close to pulling off the perfect novel. Intelligent plotting, lyrical language, compelling imagery, gritty urban setting – this is important in the perfect novel because the novel was invented in part to make sense of the city – interesting and articulate characters and, of course, a daring subject matter.’
Wasafiri International Literature Magazine
READER REVIEWS on the NHS Book Club website, where it was featured.
I really enjoyed reading this very funny yet serious book. Barry Walker speaks in a poetic patois all his own. The central dilemma of the story-whether he will have the courage to ‘come out’ at the age of 74 after a lifetime of marriage to a Pentecostalist whom he has never loved but married at 16 to mask his homosexuality. His wife Carmel is able to voice her own tragic story of a loveless marriage and becomes a sympathetic 3-dimensional character. Some of the best writing is in a chapter where she describes an erotic encounter in the offices of Hackney Council! This is a clever and insightful study of a family, relationships and prejudice.
This is a great book. Funny, sad and beautifully written. Huge sympathy for all the characters (even the bolshy daughter) but ultimately, it’s about how we are all responsible for our own choices and happiness. Carmel may not have known the truth about Barrington but she knew something wasn’t right… Also, loved the ‘never too late’ message.
I really enjoyed this book, I think it’s probably my favourite book club read so far. The main narrator, Barrington, has a wonderful way with words and phrases and has a voice very distinct from that of the secondary narrator (his wife Carmel). While I had a good deal of sympathy for Barrington and Morris and the double life they were forced by circumstance to lead, I really felt sorry for Carmel. I liked how the author gave Carmel her own voice because Barrington’s representation of her is extremely unsympathetic. It’s only through Carmel’s thoughts that you really see how Barrington’s choices changed, even destroyed, her life. A lot of the story is poignant, and even sad, but I came away feeling uplifted by the ending. I’m so glad that this was a book club choice
This is best book I read so far. The history line is soo good and characters in this book goes with no doubt link really well. Barry is wonderful person with funny way to deal with his own problems. Is good reading this book and make you laught in certain chapters. Next book, can we have this kind of book?
Just loved this book – it’s undoubtedly my favourite Book Club book thus far. The characters were all really well drawn (even the less likeable ones) and generally sympathetic. I liked the second voice of Barry’s wife – her story came over really well in explaining her behaviour. Barry himself is funny, annoying, clever and frustrating. I laughed out loud at times, and felt sad at others. Not a book I would have picked off the shelf, but definitely an author I’ll look out for in future. I already have a waiting list of people wanting to borrow it!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were very believable and the authors language conveyed each very credibly. I sympathised with them all. The suave Barrington having to face up to some life changing descions all the while in conflict with his wife, lover and family. A truly wonderful read that made me laugh out loud on several occaisions. I highly reccomend it.
I loved this book. It is very well written. The representation of his jamaican speech patterns and language was so good I could hear it. It adressess a serious subject but is really funny in places. I would recommend it to anyone.
I loved Mr Loverman. It is very much Barrington’s story – he is an interesting, complex, lovable but not always likable character. I’m glad he and Morris found happiness in the end – I empathised with their struggle and the journey they had been on. I did however enjoy the stories of the other characters as well… the other and sometimes unexpected point of view. I found myself cheering Carmel on. Her return from Antigua was majestic! The descriptions of food, the patois and the way the characters relate to each other was an eye-opener into a culture that I know very little about. A very enjoyable book – it made me laugh out loud 🙂
A surprisingly good read. Not my usual pick and took some time to get into it but it turned into a book I would recommend. Particularly enjoyed the second half when we got a better insight into the supporting characters of Barrington’s wife and his daughters Donna and Maxine.
I really enjoyed Mr Loverman. It’s a beautifully written book and very touching. I equally felt sorry for him and Morris and annoyed for his wife. The descriptions of the members the family made all so real. There were parts that had me laughing out loud. Everything worked out well for them all in the end and I love a happy ending
Fantastic book. Loved the narrative and a really interesting concept. Definitely one of my favourites so far.