At ten years old, Kelly and I were two rambunctious boys who carved our initials into a tree in the forest. We promised to be best friends forever and bumped our fists to seal the deal. I never should've kissed him that summer before college. It was a day that buried me in shame, a day I spent the next twenty-four years regretting, a day I never told anyone about.
At forty-three, depression was suffocating me. Not even my wife and two children could lift the heavy fog. I was riddled with guilt and self-hatred, and I was starting to realize that I would slowly fade away until nothing remained. Then one day, Kelly was back in town.
Much like book 1, "Home," I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which for me was about both recovering lost possibilities and making yourself happy and whole again.
However, this story wasn't always easy to read, as both MC's were no strangers to depression. Kelly, who ran away at 18 to escape his burgeoning feelings for Will, fought and overcame his feelings of hopelessness, while Will never allowed himself to come to terms with his sexuality and was still buried about 5 1/2 feet under his feelings of shame and guilt.
But Will's depression didn’t really bring me down, much, probably because there was a steady progression toward him getting much better, without any ‘big relapse’ scenes to pepper the story with unnecessary drama. Overall, the entire story felt pretty hopeful to me.
Also, the fact that <spoiler removed> didn’t bother me that much, probably because other reviewers (shout out to my girls, you know who you are, heh) had told me that it was coming and I felt as though the 2 MC’s were completely inevitable, a done deal. Plus, the fact that Will's current relationship felt much less like a marriage and more like a habit didn't hurt there, either.
I was truly apprehensive to read this book, after initial reviews mentioned the depression and <spoiler removed> but both topics were handled really well, with a lot of sensitivity vs. sensationalism.
This story really worked for me, ending with a 2-years-later HEA epilogue, so I'd have to rate this one at around 4 stars.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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