Two Boys at Breakwater

Written by Boston Teran
Review by Peter Clenott

Two Boys at Breakwater is an ambitious novel. Film Noir meets revolutionary gay activism.

Dean Teranova, whose father is a thug, and Guy Prince, whose father is a mobster, meet as boys in 1957, at ten and eleven years old, and after a decade in juvenile detention, they reunite to bring NYC to its knees. The novel is embedded in a time when five crime families ruled the nation’s largest city and the gay world was rising up in protest.

Beyond the violence, Two Boys at Breakwater is a love story. Caught up in an internecine bloodbath involving the Carpetti crime family generated by the rape of a young woman and the daring defiance of Guy’s father, the two young men must also face down the wrath of two homophobic police detectives who are on the hunt for Guy’s father. The game is on. In such a world, who can be trusted? Only people who truly love one another.

I wanted to be swept up into Dean and Guy’s story of love in a time of lawlessness and historic defiance. I wanted to believe in their love for one another and the ensuing acts of self-sacrifice leading to salvation. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t sold that an eleven-year-old boy could fall passionately in love with a ten-year-old at first sight. I wasn’t sold that the clever father would abandon his son to go into hiding, and I wasn’t sold that the Mafia couldn’t gruesomely take care of its own problems Soprano-style. The plot has numerous holes, and the dialogue just doesn’t ring true to the characters, who all sound far too educated, even with an occasional “fuckin’” thrown in.

In the end, this novel rather reads like a first draft.