Now I'm Here

by Christopher Verleger

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday September 20, 2018

Now I'm Here

When we think of great epic love stories ("Gone with the Wind," "Doctor Zhivago") they formulaically span multiple decades with significant historical events interspersed among the timeline of events, as one obstacle after another prevents the seemingly star-crossed pair from coming together as one.

Joshua and David, the brave couple brought to life in Jim Provenzano's captivating, unforgettable novel, "Now I'm Here," manage to experience a quintessential epic romance albeit in just a few short years. Were it not for the admiring (and admittedly jealous) eye of their friend, Eric Gottlund, who meticulously narrates this heartbreaking, breathtaking story, the saga of Joshua and David could have easily gone unnoticed.

In the small town of Serene, Ohio, where everyone knows everybody else's business, these two youngsters are an especially unlikely pair. Joshua comes from a nuclear family and has an affinity for music - the piano, in particular. David lives on a farm and was raised by his hard-drinking, customarily distant dad. Granted, not exactly the Montagues and Capulets, but they both instinctively know how they're different and, more importantly, how they're alike. It takes a Queen concert to impress upon these gentlemen that what they're capable of sharing is more than friendship.

The courtship of Joshua and David sustains the trials and tribulations of adolescence (decorative girlfriends, peer pressure and unintentionally harmful pranks), a rehabilitation facility with unorthodox practices, and road trips to Texas, Hollywood and San Francisco. Both young men escape Ohio for different reasons, but destiny brings them back to Serene and each other. The unruly activity during their away-from-home adventures takes its toll, yet thankfully they have each other to help contend with the consequences.

Because their story is told often matter-of-factly by a third person, Eric, there is a looming sense of worry and concern throughout, because why else would there be a need for an eyewitness account unless something unfortunate has transpired? This storytelling method effectively and passionately conveys the lengthy, turbulent evolution of their compelling, inspiring and uplifting relationship.

The love story of Joshua and David reminds the reader how to appreciate the extraordinary in the ordinary. Professionally speaking, neither of these men achieves fame or accomplishes anything especially newsworthy, but what they share emotionally is nothing short of remarkable. Some books you read for laughter, intrigue, debate or information. "Now I'm Here" makes you feel.

"Now I'm Here"

By Jim Provenzano


Chris is a voracious reader and unapologetic theater geek from Narragansett, Rhode Island.