A novel about sexual love, straight and queer, about love between friends, between exes, between parents and children, between lovers old and new, Erik Tarloff’s Tell Me the Truth About Love tells the story of Toby Lindeman, a divorced man in San Francisco leading what appears to be an enviable bachelor’s life. Suave, attractive, somewhat detached from the emotional needs of those around him, he seems to sail blithely above life’s common difficulties as he goes about his duties as chief fundraiser for the San Francisco Opera.
But then, to his own surprise, he falls passionately in love with the most inappropriate woman possible, the long-time mistress of the powerful man on whom his own future seems to depend. As Toby navigates the risks of this relationship, encountering heartbreak and professional catastrophe along the way, he also finds himself reconnecting on a much deeper level with all the people in his life. Suspenseful, sexy, and often laugh-out-loud funny, Tell Me the Truth About Love is a very contemporary look at the varieties of human connection.
"Sharp, fast-paced, and unapologetic in its portrayal of the worlds of artistic philanthropy and patronage, Erik Tarloff's operatic new novel gives us the juiciest of predicaments: a protagonist who is difficult but impossible to ignore. San Francisco, meanwhile, plays a supporting role vividly and compellingly."
—Belinda McKeon, author of Tender
“Reading Erik Tarloff’s Tell Me the Truth About Love is like eating a box of carefully selected chocolate truffles: you don’t want to stop.”
—Wendy Lesser, author of Music for Silenced Voices
“All the complications of love are here, neatly plotted against a background of arts intrigue. The characterization is clever yet rich in sympathy, even for those who stand in love’s way. This is among the best of Tarloff’s novels – funny, smart, and full of unexpected twists.”
—Zachary Leader, author of The Life of Saul Bellow
"In Tell Me the Truth About Love, Erik Tarloff displays his unique and uncanny ability to make any culture accessible and universal. A true master of dialogue, he doesn’t just ‘tell’ you a story. He makes you a character within. This book literally begs for a sequel."
—Carter Monroe, author of Waffle House Blues
“The characters are real, the tensions and the beguiling undercurrents of sensuality are beautifully handled. An elegant, haunting love story for grown ups.”
—Martin Walker, author of the Bruno, Chief of Police novels
"Tell Me the Truth About Love is a literary beach read. It combines vivid characters, plot twists and plenty of sex, with the elegant dialogue, psychological insight, and sophisticated comedy we've come to expect from Erik Tarloff.”
—George Stephanopoulos, ABC News