Andy Nocera is on probation after being arrested for solicitation in a public rest room on Interstate 85. He’s taken refuge with his mother after being kicked out by his wife and is forced to take a job traveling the country selling display shelving after being fired by his father-in-law. The ‘highlight’ of his week is his court-mandated counseling session with his psychiatrist who also happens to be ordained as a Jesuit priest. Resistant at first, he gradually surrenders to his counselor’s persistent probing as they search for clues in his boyhood and early married years to explain why he risked his seemingly perfect life for an anonymous sexual encounter.
One year of therapy with no more arrests and the State of North Carolina will expunge Andy’s record. But he’s having a hard time coping without the unconditional support of his wife, who’s moved on to a new relationship, and his mother, who’s been diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma. Failing every attempt to start a new life as an openly gay man, he begins to spiral into anger and depression, alienating everyone close to him, until he finally discovers that rescuing another lost soul is the means to his own redemption.
“Probation is the rare novel that dares to take the reader on a journey through the dark night of the soul. An unflinching look at the dark side of self-discovery, it is ultimately a story of transformation and the worlds of possibilities hidden within each of us.”
– Michael Thomas Ford, author of JANE BITES BACK and WHAT WE REMEMBER
“If you’re looking for a smart, engaging, witty, sad and unusual book about the complicated nature of family and love, try Tom Mendicino’s Probation. You’ll be glad you did.”
– Bart Yates, author of THE BROTHERS BISHOP and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN USS
“If David Sedaris were cast as Willy Loman, it might sound something like Probation. Andy, a sharp-tongued travelling salesman, gives us the life events that led to his being taken away in handcuffs, and the hilarious and agonizing self-inquiry that follows. Snarky yet profound, it is a bold examination of the destructive effects of a life spent in the closet, reported with a Carolina twang.” – Vestal McIntyre, author of LAKE OVERTURN