Title: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M, interracial
Length: Novella (21K words)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Scott came to New Orleans the summer he fled the bigotry of a rural Louisiana town. Tony was born and raised in the City that Care Forgot and lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Now, Scott lives in a homeless shelter and has a job at Tiffany’s Waffles ’n’ Wings, a 24-hour restaurant on the edge of the French Quarter, while Tony is squatting in an abandoned house.
When Tony, desperate for cash, decides to rob someone, along comes Scott. But in the dark alleyway, the younger man stirs something long dormant in Tony. He rescues Scott from being beaten by another thief, then grabs the money for himself and runs. Ashamed of his actions, however, Tony decides to return the money. He follows Scott to work, and the two fragile souls begin a tenuous relationship.
The men fill in what each is missing and what each desires in the other. Scott leaves the shelter to try living with Tony, finding a place to belong and someone who cares for him, and Tony, who has something to prove to himself, longs to be a better man for Scott.
Together, the two kindred spirits try to create a life together in a city on the edge of a comeback…
Breakfast at Tiffany’s has absolutely nothing to do with the Audrey Hepburn movie and is as far away from the good life as you can ever imagine. This book is about two dissimilar men (except for their financial circumstances) who will break your heart and make you love them despite yourself.
Scott is a “skinny white kid” according to Tony’s description, who is barely ekeing out a living in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina took its toll on the city in 2005. New Orleans is devastated and the people who remained there were in the worst circumstances possible, like Tony who hadn’t had anything to eat for 2 days because he couldn’t find work and was looking to score by robbing someone since he wasn’t going back to selling his body in order to eat. No selling drugs for him either – that was a no no. Scott was in a slightly better situation than Tony because he had a job at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings where he bussed tables and waited on the customers. He even had a small bank account with a few dollars set aside for a rainy day.
That evening he was on his way home from work when he was roughed up by a man that was lying in wait for someone like him, who stole his last $5. The thief was so mad because $5 was all Scott had that he was preparing to beat the crap out of him, when Tony who was also waiting in the alley grabbed him and retrieved Scott’s money. Scott was so happy to get his money back but Tony took the $5 and fled. It was unbelievable! The thief was robbed of the money he had stolen, by Scott’s benefactor.
The next day Tony felt so bad about what he had done that he walked Scott home to the shelter where he was staying, without his knowledge, because he didn’t want him to be robbed again or worse. When he got up enough courage he introduced himself to Scott and repaid him with money he had earned that day and they started getting to know each other. It didn’t take them long to recognize the attraction between them despite their personal circumstances and it was wonderful to see two men, who had absolutely nothing in the way of personal possessions or even a future, believe that someone cared about him.
This was a wonderful story mostly about hope in the midst of living in the worst possible conditions, in either shelters or abandoned and boarded up homes, and being thankful for being alive when your entire family was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. In case you think this was a depressing story, it was actually quite uplifting and the end was hopeful and wonderful. You’ll get a kick out of Tiffany and the men who hung out at the restaurant in between working at the Cage aux Follies Club on Bourbon Street as they try to make the best of the hand they have been dealt. They were all Scott’s friends who looked out for him and made sure that Tony’s intentions towards their friend were honourable.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a story about how people cope with losing everything except their self respect, living among rats and cockroaches, and doing just about anything in order to put food in their bellies. All of the “things” that we take for granted such a nice home, a job, food on the table, good clothing, hot water for a shower, loved ones, are all denied these “refugees” in their own country who are raped and robbed, not by “terrorists” but by their fellow citizens who are looking for quick fixes to their problems. This story is also about being thankful to find a job that pays $2 an hour because it helps to restore your sense of pride in yourself. I was so moved by Scott’s and Tony’s story which reminded me of another book that I read about a year ago that I just can’t forget, A Note in the Margin.
Scott’s and Tony’s unlikely love story plays out among the squalour of living in the dark in an abandoned house and hoping that the odd mice will be eaten by the neighbourhood cats. Their love was an adventure and a wonderful testament to the ability of the human spirit to overcome just about anything as long as we know that someone cares about us.
I understand that Lynn Lorenz has plans to write other stories with New Orleans as a backdrop and I can’t wait to read them. I visited New Orleans about 15 years ago when it was a wonderful city that welcomed millions of tourists every year. The damage caused by Hurricane Katrina destroyed this once thriving metropolis and the lives of its residents, and the hundreds of thousands who didn’t move are now displaced, unemployed or living below the poverty line. Despite billions contributed by the US government and countries around the world to rebuild New Orleans the city has not recovered and probably won’t for decades. The author did an awesome job in showing how a few of the remaining residents of this once great city cope with life as it is now, and what their new “normal” is. Tony and Scott are wonderful three dimensional characters and Lynn Lorenz portrayed them not as objects of pity, but conversely as people who would make anyone proud because they did their best not just to exist but to thrive. The only complaint I had about this book was it was too short at 21K and I’m hoping that there’s another story somewhere in all of Lynn’s plot bunnies that will be a sequel to the lives of these very young, inspiring men.
If you would like to read a story that is unforgettable, one that brings a smile to your face and makes you thankful for your life, read Breakfast at Tiffany’s – you will want to cheer at the end for Scott and Tony. Highly recommended.