- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 464 KB
- Print Length: 280 pages
- Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group (21 Feb. 2018)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B079Z3Z8GG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,445 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£6.60|
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Living On Air Kindle Edition
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This is a well constructed and superbly crafted piece of writing.
Living on Air is a book about Cary Stilwell who is an Air Dancer with the Trazellas Circus. He is the central character and is utterly mesmerising. He exists rather than lives, as a result of a devastating and hideous childhood that was filled with sexual abuse and horror. He lost his family in the most horrendous crime at the age of 10 and has been running from his memories ever since.
We meet Cary at the age of 33, having honed his air dancing skills by travelling the world and learning from the best, however, he always returns to Trazellas and it is here we see him trying to survive. way in which Cary copes with heightened stress and pressure is by self-harming, and he has perfected a particularly vicious and painful way to administer this to himself. No one knows; he suffers alone. Whist his circus family love and support him, particularly his 'mother' Greta, Cary prefers not to form attachments to anyone and wallows grumpily in his self pity.
Until Rhys McIntyre arrives to turn Cary's world upside down.
The two men have chemistry. Of that there is no doubt. But Cary doesn't do naked, or love, or even nice. Rhys on the other hand is a world class photographic journalist with an optimistic view of life despite the horrors he has seen through his work. As a hiatus from war zones and death defying shoots; Rhys is commissioned to take photos of the circus for a coffee table style book. Cary is the main subject, which requires Rhys to travel around with him for weeks to capture the perfect shot. He captures more than that as Cary begins to unravel in the best and worst way...discoveries are made that threaten to shatter both their lives, and tentative connections are made and broken over and over.
The book is Susan MacNicol's best to date, in my opinion, and I am a huge fan of her work. It is a sensitive yet brutal exploration of one man's mission to self destruct on both an emotional and physical level. It is a study of love and how it can conquer even the most broken of men.....if permitted. It is graphic in it is intense portrayal of Cary's self harming, yet nothing feels gratuitous. The sexual encounters are emotive and the author leaves us as frustrated as her characters through her evocative descriptions. I experienced angst, sadness, pity, horror, arousal and tenuous happiness along with the characters at various points of the story. It was not entirely unpredictable, but the plot was enthralling with twists and turns all the way through that were both thrilling and disturbing; sometimes gratifying, but most times gasp worthy!
I wanted a happy ever after for Cary and Rhys. Did they get it? Read the book and find out....
I liked it being set in a circus environment, with main character Cary being a performer, an Air Dancer and got a good feel for circus life and the sense of family that went along with it. You get to know some of the other players, but not in any real depth as the main focus is on Cary and Rhys, a photographer who joins them temporarily for an assignment.
I'm not going to go into too much detail, suffice to say, this is about the relationship that slowly develops between the two and the impact it has on both their lives, in particular Cary. It is an emotional story, riveting and sad, yet there are some light-hearted moments as well. Cary is hard work at times (understandably), but strong and resilient, Rhys has his own nightmares to deal with too, but together they find something special, amongst all the ups and downs.
Not a read for the faint hearted, but enjoyable all the same and I would recommend it. I would be interested to see how things were going with them in a sequel.
The storyline is not one for the feint hearted, but the very difficult subjects it covers were handled sympathetically, and with understanding as always by this author which takes real skill when you are dealing with these matters. Then throw in the way the characters were formed was amazing, as with all Susan’s men, she makes them feel so very real, almost like you could sit down and have a coffee with them. This makes them loveable and makes you feel for them, and boy did I feel for Cary and Rhys.
Cary is hiding so much inside that hard as nails exterior he uses to push people away, keeping them at arms length, not because he doesn’t want people close, but I feel because he’s afraid of what will happen if he does. His past is something he wants to keep under lock and key, but when it does bleed into his present, he bleeds too, literally.
My heart ached for him, he’s gone through so much and survived.
Enter Rhys, fate brings them together and they don’t realise the connection they have until it’s too late. They are polar opposites, but yet they work so well together and Rhys becomes a balm for Cary’s wounded soul.
It would’ve been easy to go for an easy win with these two, making their relationship physical and relying on that, but I know that this isn’t the way Susan chooses to deal with these subjects, and that’s what makes them intriguing and well worth reading.
I adored this book and the world I as invited to join, and I won’t give any spoilers other than to say, I WANT MORE!
A wonderfully absorbing read, well worth diving into.
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