Blazing a trajectory across more than two decades of American life, from the sky-high optimism of the first moon shots to the dark human landscape of the age of AIDS, Sea of Tranquillity tells the story of a splintering nuclear family. A father, a mother, a son, their intimates, and their lovers are all brought to life with immediacy and insight, honesty and compassion. The head of the family is Allen Cloud, a handsome, brave, dedicated NASA astronaut, a hero fit for the cover of Life, but a man whose private life is in cruel contrast with his public image. For Allen is far more at home walking on the moon than in the world of human relationships. Tormented by his wife's desperate need and raging drunkenness, and by his son's obvious homosexuality, Allen must come to terms with the desertion of one, and the demand for recognition of the other. He tries to build a new life with an all-American dream girl who has survived one nightmare and now, with Allen, finds herself facing another. Allen's story interweaves with that of his wife, Joan, whose search for happiness takes her from the bottom of the bottle in middle America to a mountainside in Turkey where she finds spiritual salvation. Looming even larger in the lives of both father and mother is their son, Jonathan, whose own journey of self-discovery leads him from the suburban astronaut community in Houston to the sophisticated gay world of the East Coast. His fearless acknowledgment of his sexual identity and avid pursuit of physical and spiritual fulfillment has its counterpoint in a shy and repressed preacher's son, Stayton Voegli, whose desires Jonathan awakens in high school and whose destiny Jonathan permanently alters, for better or for worse.
Original title: Sea of Tranquillity
Genre: Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian→ Gay Male