It. Was. Wonderful. Deeply touching. I didn’t cry but it was a struggle not to. A lump in my throat through it all, and at the same time, a smile on my face. Sometimes a beaming one, sometimes a bittersweet one, but my heart was engaged through and through.
A story about a gay man, barely coping with the loss of his partner a year after his death, raising their young daughter, and meeting a woman that unexpectedly captures his attention. (you can check out my more in depth synopsis in my enthusiastic “currently reading” post”)
Maybe I’m just puzzled to feel this kind of attraction at all, especially toward a woman. It’s been such a long time since my mind or body even went that way.
And I’ll tell you something. Even though this is a potential love story between Michael and Rebecca, the love story between Michael and Alex (even though Alex is now gone) is just as poignant. Just as important and as intense.
This was a book about deep, true love that will last forever. Souls that recognize each other, no matter the social expectations. And I’m not just talking about a love between two men. But a deep blossoming friendship, an unexpected attraction and possible deeper love between a “once” gay man and a woman.
So the self discovery and intense personal scrutiny begins. The pressures from Michael’s entourage make things very touchy, and while Michael struggles to find himself again…
“Look, Michael, you’ve got to do whatever it takes,” she says soberly. “because you’re fading fast, and if something doesn’t change, it’ll be more than Alex that we’ve lost. This grief is going to kill you, too.”
… Rebecca struggles with her own perceptions of the person she thinks she can never be. She has her own scary past that has left deep physical scars, and even deeper emotional ones. Opening up, living and loving life is something she left behind a long time ago.
While time may heal wounds, and new love *may* help them over their own broken-hearted circumstances, the kind of true love that Michael and Alex had, continues to haunt them.
“So you’re gay.”
I feel the weight of Rebecca’s expectations, her disappointment about the vibe she must have detected between us.
“Well,” I answer, drawing in a breath, “I was with a guy for a long time.”
Rebecca shakes her head apologetically, the golden hair shimmering. “It was a stupid question.”
“Not stupid,” I whisper, turning toward her. “Actually, he’s the only guy I’ve ever been with. Only thing I can say for sure is that I was in love with him.”
“You still are.”
“Can’t get past it, I’m afraid.”
And it is this exploration that had me captivated from the start. Coming to terms with the terrible loss, and learning to adjust, and perhaps enjoy an unexpected future.
Complicating matters are the secrets that Michael harbors. These secrets may be hindering his chance at a happy life (with his family, future love, and his despondent daughter), yet… will exposing the truth make matters worse?
My lips part and what I want to say is that I’m sorry. Sorry that my sweet little girl has to hurt at all, that she worries about a scar that nobody else can even see. Sorry that her daddy’s nearly a year dead and all she has left in this frightening world is me.
Quite a few moments found me breathless in shock, sadness, and even a bit of hurt. But I was right there with them. All of them.
Overall, I would recommend this to anybody wanting to lose themselves in an emotional, heartwarming read.