Tristant Whitfield has had a secret crush on straight Elijah Cambridge since the start of high school. He’s okay keeping his distance, but when Elijah starts visiting him at work and bringing his favorite coffee, Tristant begins to wonder if there’s something more there.
Then Elijah uncovers a scandalous old letter from Tristant’s great uncle tucked away in a book, and the two boys begin a journey through journals and letters to discover the real Uncle Glenn and the secrets he hid from his family. And Tristant realizes that Elijah has been hiding something as well.
A secret that just might change everything.
This was a really good coming-of age/coming-out story.
What I really liked was that the author chose to make one of the teenage boys, Tristant, to be secure in who he was, something that is rather unusual in a YA novel. He knew he was gay, his family knew he was gay, he had the support of his mother and grand-mother, and was thus able to be happy with himself, even if there were a few normal teenage struggles he faced just the same. The major struggle was his crush on Elijah, who is seemingly straight.
As the story progresses, the two boys are united over a letter Elijah finds in a book, a letter written by Tristant's uncle Glenn, a letter that appears to hint at an illicit (for the times) relationship. As the boys find out more about Glenn, with the unwitting (or not) help from Tristant's grandmother, they are also becoming closer, and their relationship becomes strong enough for Elijah to find the courage to be true to himself.
This was my 2nd book by this author, and I liked it better than the other one I've read of hers. She has a wonderful way of making her characters sound realistic, giving them organic, believable dialogue, and doesn't use contrived conflict. Instead, we're given a sweet romance, set against a backdrop of historical views, and two protagonists who made me smile and think.
I'm obviously no longer a teenager, but we all remember our own struggles of finding our true identity. Some take longer than others, some come into their own at an earlier age, but we all get there eventually. Sometimes it takes having someone on your side to give you that final push to be true to yourself, and in this novel, Tristant becomes that person for Elijah.