The Duplex: Can They Fool A Whole City?

· Waters and Baxter
1 review

About this ebook

"...a perfect, entertaining and exceptional novel." — Reader's Favorite

Los Angeles, 1956. Shangri-La. Palm trees, swimming pools, movie stars. And if you’re gay—persecution. In a society that demands conformity and lockstep conventionality, gay people find out quickly and the hard way, how difficult, dangerous and downright terrifying it is to be different.  

So, when the constant fear of arrests, evictions, job loss and ridicule become too much, four gay friends and lovers pull together to hatch an ingenious scheme designed to allow them to live freely, without harassment.

But their secret plan is not without its flaws. Internal struggles and personality conflicts conspire to make their situation harder and more life-altering than any of them could have predicted, leading to valuable and universal lessons about the high cost of blending in—or not.

Ratings and reviews

1 review
Ally Swanson
July 14, 2020
While many people strive to be “normal,” four main characters find that the appearance of being normal is the only way to survive in Los Angeles in 1956. However, their normal is more of a display for the outside to show they are following society’s rules. This book exposes a time when being LGBTQIA in L.A. was scary, dangerous, and terrifying. Four friends come up with a brilliant plan to deter them from being harassed and attacked by the police and society. They decide to rent both sides of a duplex, pretend to be two heterosexual married couples, when in fact they are a lesbian couple and a gay couple. They added a secret door between the two homes so they could come and go with ease and no one would be the wiser that it wasn’t two perfect couples living on each side. I really liked the story line of this book and found it quite creative and entertaining. I found the characters to be very realistic, authentic, and genuine. I could easily see these characters as real people. They had real flaws, real problems, and real lives. However, I didn’t necessarily connect with them as I have never had to go through anything like they have. I couldn’t imagine being hunted down, entrapped, and constantly have to be on guard for my safety or worry that society wouldn't approve of who I chose to date. I also really liked that each main character, Jerry, Cliff, Dot, and Barbara each brought something unique to the group and the story line. Plus, each character went through many different experiences, and even readers, like me, that aren’t LGBTQIA, can still understand and/or relate to. For example, Dot’s mom is repeatedly asking her when is she going to marry? As a single lady in my early 30s, I certainly hear that question from family. Dot is only 24 and I probably have been hearing that question since I was at least that young lol. Or like Barbara and Jerry, whose co-workers are oftentimes trying to set them up with a friend or family member. I’ve certainly got that one lol. I know the LGBTQIA crowd has always had it difficult, especially in current times with Trump. But I had no idea that they were so heavily persecuted and pressured to conform in the 1950s. Or that the police hired guys to pretend to be gay to entrap gay men and have them arrested. Or that it usually went even further than arrests and assaults – these victims would face losing their job, losing their home, going to prison, humiliation, violation, and ridicule. If they were caught in any suspicion of gay activity they were charged as so and/or had those notions broadcasted as an announcement to embarrass them and create more backlash and hate. This was just ugly and horrifying!! I couldn’t imagine living in that kind of fear. So, what these characters did to protect themselves was genius!! With all the scrutiny these characters faced it showed how brave, strong, and inspiring these individuals were!! Definitely characters worth cheering for!! I liked that this book had many, but short chapters as they were well-written, concise, and easily flowed. Each chapter was told from a specific character’s point-of-view with four main characters in total being featured. I liked this because each chapter was titled with the character’s name, so it was easy to follow whose story was being told. Plus, each character had their own distinct voice which made following along smooth and effortless. This book is not currently listed as part of a book series. It can be read as a standalone. Thankfully, this book does have an enjoyable, tidy ending. All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it! I think all LGBTQIA readers, historical LGBT fiction fans, and really anyone interested in an intriguing L.A. historical read with four strong characters from different paths will like this book too! So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed! **Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

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