QUICK REVIEW: Missed Connections: A Memoir in Letters Never Sent by Brian Francis

An entertaining and moving memoir about coming out, looking inwards, and the search for connection, inspired by the responses to a personal ad.

In 1992, Brian Francis placed a personal ad in a local newspaper. He was a twenty-one-year-old university student, still very much in the closet, and looking for love. He received twenty-five responses, but there were thirteen letters that went unanswered and spent years tucked away, forgotten, inside a cardboard box. Now, nearly thirty years later, and at a much different stage in his life, Brian has written replies to those letters. Using the letters as a springboard to reflect on all that has changed for him as a gay man over the past three decades, Brian’s responses cover a range of topics, including body image, aging, desire, the price of secrecy, and the courage it takes to be unapologetically yourself.

Missed Connections is an open-hearted, irreverent, often hilarious, and always bracingly honest examination of the pieces of our past we hold close — and all that we lose along the way. It is also a profoundly affecting meditation on how Brian’s generation, the queer people who emerged following the generation hit hardest by AIDS, were able to step out from the shadows and into the light. In an age when the promise of love is just a tap or swipe away, this extraordinary memoir reminds us that our yearning for connection and self-acceptance is timeless.

Epistolary, Gay community history,


I haven’t read “Fruit” but I have had it recommended to me quite a few times. I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to read this book. I always love epistolary works, and what a beautiful way for this life to unfold on the pages of this book.

Brian Francis writes a series of letters to replies to a personal ad he placed in his youth. His answers to the letters are three decades late. They run the gamut of emotions. This book is like a biography 30 years in the making. There is sadness, humor and Francis also tells a bit of the history of the gay community.

All of this is summed up in bite-sized letters that are heartfelt and beautiful.

Loved this.

I received an ARC of Missed Connections: A Memoir in Letters Never Sent by Brian Francis from McClelland & Stewart via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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