Very good but not great

A reader just posted this review of The One He Waited For. It starts off this way:

I have been reading the series of books about Nick Williams and Carter Jones and have enjoyed all of them. This one is no different. Mr. Butterfield has been writing about a bygone era (The early 1950’s), following a group of two fisted gay men.

To begin, I just want to say how happy I am that the reviewer gets what’s going on here.

By the time he gets up to the present day he will probably have written several hundred, or more, books.

He’s exactly right. There will probably be more than a hundred books at some point. After all, we know that Nick & Carter live long enough to get legally married in the summer of 2008 on that glorious day at San Francisco City Hall.

Here’s a photo of their friends, Del Martin (left, age 87) and Phyllis Lyon (right, age 83), when they got married that day:

(FYI: Here they are at some point in the early to mid 1950s. More about Del and Phyllis.)

The next thing he writes is this:

The stories are not great, but they are very good and I really like them.

And this I love. This is where he really gets what’s going on.

I’m writing because I like the stories.

And they’re not great, but they are good. Maybe even very good.

And that’s more then fine with me.

I’m not offering great stories.

I’m offering a series of good stories that cover many years, show many cultural changes, have a lot of history in them, and tell a very long story about two best friends in love with each other.

These stories are also about some amazing people living in extraordinary times being (mostly) decent, kind, generous, and loving with each other and doing as much good as they can.

As Nick’s mother wrote:

I have no words of wisdom to impart other than to sincerely suggest that you be kind to all you meet, help those in need to the extent you can, and let as much love as you are able to allow into your heart.

So, Mr. Reader, I thank you! You get it!

Just like most of my readers.

And I really, really love that you do.

Oh, and here’s how he wraps his very kind and generous review:

I’m glad that Mr. Butterfield is a prolific writer and I look forward to reading about Nick and company. I gave Mr. Butterfield a rating of “good” as a writer, but he is really much better than good. I recommend this, and his other books, to any gay man who likes reading about us as brave, strong, smart, and loving men.

Now, back to writing.