From the blurb:
At once an exploration of grief and faith, Into This River I Drown is one man's journey into the secrets of his father and discovering the strength to believe in the impossible.
Five years ago, Benji Green lost his beloved father, Big Eddie, who drowned when his truck crashed into a river. All called it an accident, but Benji thought it more. However, even years later, he is buried deep in his grief, throwing himself into taking over Big Eddie's convenience store in the small town of Roseland, Oregon. Surrounded by his mother and three aunts, he lives day by day, struggling to keep his head above water.
But Roseland is no ordinary place.
With ever-increasing dreams of his father's death and waking visions of feathers on the surface of a river, Benji's definition of reality is starting to bend. He thinks himself haunted, but whether by ghosts or memories, he can no longer tell. It's not until the impossible happens and a man falls from the sky and leaves the burning imprint of wings on the ground that he begins to understand that the world around him is more mysterious than he could have possibly imagined. It's also more dangerous, as forces beyond anyone's control are descending on Roseland, revealing long hidden truths about friends, family, and the man named Calliel who Benji is finding he can no longer live without.
This book didn't made me cry, it made me weep.
Was this book sad? Yes, the grief that Benji has over his father's death is overwhelming and perfectly articulated by the author. However, that isn't what made me sob at work while reading this book on my lunch break.
What made me completely break down is the total and complete love that Benji has for his father and vice versa. It is the heartbreaking magnitude of that love that ripped me to shreds. Benji and his father are more than relatives- they are soul mates. They are kindred spirits. It is the way that T.J. Klune describes the relationship between Benji and his father that destroyed me. To say it was touching would be a vast understatement. The enormity of having the person that is everything taken away from you, that is what made me cry. This wasn't just a death, it was the death.
This book is many things. It is a tribute to faith and friendship. It is a poem about the bond between a parents and child. It is a ode to an impossible love between two seemingly very different people.
I won't give away anything about this book for those of you that haven't read it. I was surprised at the amounts of twists and turn that this book threw my way. The fact that this book was such a departure from anything else that I have read from T.J. Klune is a testament to his versatility as an author. Everything from the gorgeous cover to the carefully crafted characters indicates that this book was no simple writing feat. It was a passion project.
One last thing: In the world of M/M romances where the father is often gruff, distant, or worse, it was both refreshing and inspiring to see a book that gives fathers the credit that they are due. Thank you, T.J., for making this book so emotional, and for making a book about angles feel real.
Thanks for reading, my friends!