Top positive review
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An amazing tale. I don't really need to say more, other than 'read this'.
on 20 May 2014
This is an amazingly well-written tale of love and humanity, of the good and the bad that can be found in people, of trying to do the right thing even when it would be so much easier and so much more fun to just go with the flow and do what feels good, of sacrifice, of standing up for what's right, what you believe in, what's worthy and what you want but feel you have to earn. It's a tale full of emotions, but never OTT, just a tale that leaves you with a warm feeling inside, and a sense of, 'aaaah'. It's a 5* Keeper of a tale.
If you've read Breathe by Sloan Parker, and loved it, but wished that it could have been simply a tale of leads who should not be able to be happy together, finding lasting love together, without all the annoying distractions of family and intrigue, then you'll love this tale, as it focuses mainly on Lucas, who's just out of prison for killing a man when he was 18/19, and who's still on parole for three years, and on Mark, who's a local priest whose brother Lucas killed, but who tries to do the right thing, the Christian thing, but who proves he's not above sinning and wanting revenge.
The circumstances that brought the leads together were believable and ordinary; it was refreshing that there was nothing fabricated/obvious about it, and it was clear that each struggled with their own form of guilt, but never at any point did the author make me feel as if Lucas was just a killer; he was a guy who'd been young and stupid who'd gotten drunk and into a fight, killing someone by mistake, but who'd paid the price, who'd come to terms with his demons, who'd repented, who felt himself unworthy of happiness or anything beyond a basic existence, and who was trying to do the right thing, and trying stay on the straight and narrow. I liked him from the start, and his sense of right and wrong was strong, made him a target, at times made him a bit of a victim, but he remained steadfast. He seemed incredibly mature and with a strong sense of morality, and yet at the same time, strangely naive (though I don't mean this in a derogatory way) and...innocent and almost childlike.
Mark, man of the cloth, tried to do the right thing and help his fellow man, as well as helping a gay teen, but he proved that he was simply human, and perhaps in his eagerness to do what he felt he had to, what decency should make him do, proved that he was just human and not without sin himself. That his faith was tested, and then turned against him, was both sad but cathartic, and at then end, proved to be the catalyst that would be the making of him.
I liked that the tale wasn't heavy on recriminations, but that at the same time, it wasn't all puppies, sunshine and roses, and that there were tough decisions that had to be made, that both made sacrifices, but that ultimately, there was good in both Mark and Lucas, which triumphed. If you're looking for a hot and heavy tale like Breathe, you won't be getting that in this book, at the leads don't get together until 62% of the tale has passed, but that was entirely appropriate for the leads, who had to learn to forgive, accept forgiveness, redeem themselves and learn to believe, and for the way in which the tale was written.
The ending was perfect - low key, like the leads, but with the kind of relationship that Mark had wanted, but thought he wouldn't be able to openly have, and that Lucas didn't feel was his right to have. It wasn't preachy, it wasn't heavy, but it was uplifting and positive. I loved the tale, it's as simple as that.