Sometimes I need to take a break from the more erotic type romances and read something on the sweeter side where multiple sexual positions and the idea of a ménage a trios is a very foreign idea. One such book is by the wonderful writer, McCullough and it is not The Thorn Birds but a book called Tim.
Many know about Tim because of the 1979 movie with Mel Gibson and Piper Laurie. I have been waiting for years to watch this and finally it has come out on Netflix. A few weeks ago I watched and was thrilled because the movie is exactly like the book. And Mel Gibson plays the role of Tim to perfection.
Tim is about a young mentally disabled young man in his early twenties. He lives in Australia with his parents and works as a laborer doing odd jobs. He is a sweet and simple guy who is not always treated very well by his fellow workers. But Tim enjoys his life and is much like a child in his thinking. He looks at the bright side of everything which also includes the good in the people he comes in contact with.
There is another character that is the total opposite of Tim and becomes his closest and dearest friend. Marty Horton is in her mid-forties and comes across as stiff and a bit of a snob. She has never been married, or dates that much. And I also believe she is a virgin even though it is never stated. When she first meets Tim, she notices that he is a very attractive fellow, but because he is slow she doesn’t give him a second glance. That is until she needs some landscaping and gardening done. She hires Tim and that’s where a very unique relationship starts between the two. Mary treats Tim with respect but still at a distance. But Tim, being the friendly and happy guy that he is, breaks through to Mary and she slowly lowers the walls she has placed around herself.
Their relationship is much like an older sister with her younger brother. Soon Mary is inviting Tim to her beach house and having him over for dinner and to watch television. Tim no longer feels as if he is an outcast because of Mary, unlike his parents and sister who seems so uneasy around him. Tim’s father doesn’t seem to find it odd that an older woman like Mary enjoys having Tim around. Part of it is probably guilt on his part and for Tim, he finally feels as if he belongs somewhere and with a wonderful person such as Mary.
But then Tim’s life starts to change and this will also affect his relationship with Mary forever. Tim’s mother dies and with that his father is bereft and close to death himself. He goes to Mary and asks her to take care of Tim. But Tim doesn’t just want to be Mary’s special friend anymore. He has become jealous because he thinks Mary likes his dad better than him. This is where Tim learns about love between a man and a woman.
There is one scene in the book where Tim yells at Mary because he thinks she likes his father more than him. Mary is very confused and scared because her feeling for Tim has changed to a more romantic nature. They share a kiss and with that Mary has a decision to make. Should she and Tim get married? If so, they will have to be husband and wife in everyway.
This tender relationship that transform into a more physical love between these two is very unconventional, but so beautifully written. It shows a writer with great skill, and Colleen McCullough pulls this off. By the last page I found my self a bit weepy because I was so happy for these two lonely people to find each other and I believed in their happiness after years of not finding their place in the world. This is one book that should be on your keeper shelf.
And I also recommend you watch the movie which shows how incredible an actor Mel Gibson truly is. Tim was only his second role, right after he stared in the cult classic, Mad Max. And even though this was made thirty years ago, it is just as poignant and moving now than it was back then.