We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Love means many things to many people and this story caps the wonderful “Farm” series with the title “Love Means Endurance”, but it’s evident when you read it that it also could be titled “Love Means Courage and Commitment and Strength and Caring and Concern and Comfort and ____”. Readers can fill in the blank.
Both heartwarming and heartbreaking, in this revisit with Eli and Geoff, one of my favorite couples, Eli is diagnosed with lung cancer. The diagnosis rocks their world and shakes the very foundation Geoff needs to survive. Deeply in love with Eli, Geoff can’t imagine going on without him. Readers are treated to a revisit to their special place by the river via memories, a revisit with MCs from past books in the series, and to a look at a very real love that transcends the constraints of the written word. These men feel very human to me and have been with me since I started reading M/M romance several years ago. From the moment I started reading this story, I savored every word.
During the peak stages of Eli’s treatment, he’s hounded by dreams of his family—a family whose patriarch has rejected him from their lives. In an effort to help, Geoff seeks out Eli’s uncle, the man with whom Eli worked and was closest to outside of his immediate family. Though he can’t help, he appreciates knowing about Eli’s illness and tells Geoff that Eli has not been forgotten by all family members.
So much of this story was family-driven and poignantly sad that I had to keep my tissue box handy at all times. Jakey, a grown-up nine year old, seems so mature in some ways, yet he can’t understand why his Papa doesn’t read to him, ride with him, or play with him anymore. When he picks up on the negative signals which Geoff can’t seem to help giving out, he begins to fear that his Papa is going to die. The emotional toll on his family, coupled with the physical reaction to his course of treatment makes it difficult for Eli to bounce back. Readers will be gripped by the emotional and physical burden this disease places on a previously very healthy young man.
There’s so much I liked about this story, it’s hard to list everything. First, I appreciated having an opportunity to revisit most of the characters from the “Farm” series stories as they showed up at various times throughout the book to offer help and support, both physical and emotional, to both Geoff and Eli. Secondly, I enjoyed where the author took the story in relation to Eli’s family and his Amish origins. And finally, the author very realistically depicted the emotional upheaval that cancer can cause in a family, not just in the patient, and then, thankfully, we were able to witness hope for a future for this very special couple.
I’m sure anyone reading my review by now can see that I loved the story, and though I did shed tears and was heartsick at the beginning, by the end I was able to share in Geoff and Eli’s hope for a brighter future. Their new attitude of appreciating what they have and doing the things they’ve dreamed of now, instead of putting them off for some future date, is one I plan to adapt. Though this story may be fiction, the reality of cancer, and other mortal illnesses, is that there is a definite benefit to living and enjoying life one day at a time.
If you’ve ever read any of the “Farm” series, don’t miss this story! And if you haven’t, by all means start now. I highly recommended this one.