OK, so in this case I expanded on my second query attempt (post #3). It's longer now, it's always hard to know what is too long, but hopefully better...? Thank you in advance. I know some people think the hook is weak, but keeping it while I tweak the other parts.
When Henry sleeps with the ex-girlfriend of his longtime lover, Jack, it might cost him the only person he’s ever truly cherished. I had to read this a few times to understand.
Henry wants to know the secret that he and Jack pretend isn’t there: what happened between Jack and his ex, Althea, that left Jack terrified of women. For two decades Henry and Jack have shared their lives. But they keep an open relationship, skirting an unspoken barrier, the story Jack can’t bring himself to tell. So when Henry meets Althea, he dates her, without telling Jack, creating one secret to learn another. So this Henry decides to date his boyfriend's ex to find out why they broke up, right? I would maybe focus on the fact that the guys have an open relationship, then do a line like "But does being open also mean dating an ex?" or something like. Maybe not a rhetorical.
Soon Henry learns Althea has a motive of her own. She has reviewed her empty life to conclude Jack is the one man she ever loved. She tells Henry Jack’s story, what she did to him. Even so, she begs Henry to broker a reunion; she is sure Jack will forgive her, love her like she needs and deserves. But Henry knows she is deluding herself. A reunion would be too much for Jack; also, it would reveal Henry’s role as betrayer. I'm not sure how, but this feels like a little spoiler-y. Even though you don't reveal what she did to Jack, it's smoothed over by this decision Henry has to make about brokering the reunion.
Althea steals Jack’s number from Henry’s phone and calls Jack (spoiler?), at which point the inconceivable happens: Jack leaves them both. In his absence, Henry and Althea are drawn into upon a newly desperate, mutually hateful relationship, both of them traumatized at being abandoned. This definitely feels like spoilers. I'm not sure I want to know that they get back together in the query letter. Henry sees himself from the outside, terrified of what’s happening, unable to stop his decline.
All these years Henry took care of Jack. For the first time Henry needs Jack to take care of him. But it’s uncertain if Jack can ever come back. This is a little vague. I'm not sure what the climax of the story could be. "Can ever come back" sounds a little like you're hinting at suicide. If you are, you might want to make this point more clear.
Love is a 100,000-word literary novel. The story bears similarities to A Little Life. I have a short story published as part of an anthology in 2015 and another short story published in [ ] magazine (issue [ ]), 2016. A third story is due for release as part of an anthology in March, 2017.
Hi there! Take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I didn't read any of your other drafts, just jumped straight to your most updated one. This manuscript makes me seriously worried for all your characters - good job!