From the blurb:
Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood, there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared.
But a fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a horrific incident.
Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first love has been lost to him—until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet.
Amid the rush of emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly tearing Alistair’s mind apart.
Woah... I mean, where to begin? Do you like angst? I mean ANGST? I'm not talking about baby angst, I'm talking about serious, advanced-level angst. Like addiction, mental illness, abuse, rape, neglect, priesthood... the whole angst package.
I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Mel Bossa. Mel Bossa can write her ass off, and is, to be frank, above and beyond the skills of most writers out there right now. This story is... just insane, and she makes it so compelling that you won't be able to put it down for a second, I promise you that.
For all of it's brilliance in writing and amazing, crystal-clear characters, it is also probably medically wrong, or at least it felt that way to me. The whole mental illness thing, which was barely touched upon in the blurb, is a HUGE factor in the book. I felt iffy about its treatment, and I'm not sure how I felt about the whole religion thing as well.
I also still can't tell if this book is pro or anti-religion? Maybe both? Either way, religion plays a strong roll in this book, so if that is a turn off for you, be aware.
The part of the story, however, that bumped my rating down is that I found Ryde and Alister's relationship to be so obsessive and insane that it was almost scary. To be fair, the characters know that their relationship is not normal, but it was hard to relate to such a desperate, strange, crazy dynamic. I'm not sure what these two had for each other, but I'm sure it isn't healthy.
Again, this book is extremely hard to rate because it was so beautiful in it's gritty, screwed-up-ness that part of me wants to 5 star it, but another part of me was saying, "NOOOOOO" for a large portion of the story. I think if you are a Mel Bossa fan, like me, you have to at least try this one. It was a unique, special, difficult, interesting read... just throw in some adjectives and pick up the book.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Catch ya later!!