Nowadays, most of us living in the liberal West agree that there can never be anything morally wrong with love between consenting adults. This is good for society but bad for novelists. The tale of the grand passion that runs foul of societal mores is a staple of literature. What is Madame Bovary if Emma can slam divorce papers on Charles’s desk after her first few sexts with Rodolphe? Writers who want to do the love versus society theme have to get creative.
Ross Raisin has hit on the sterling idea of heading for the world of professional football. Not a single one of Britain’s 5,000 full-time players is openly gay — though statistically about 500 of them must be. Tom, the hero of Raisin’s new novel, is one of them.