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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Jay Northcote – Passing Through

Passing Through - Jay Northcote

Reviewer: Lucy

Genre: MM Contemporary


Review: The most important message of this book – “Don’t waste a chance at happiness”. Uncle Edwin, ahh just makes you want to cry.


Leo loves his uncle. He doesn’t get to see him much because he’s so wrapped up in his job in London and it takes all of his existence. I don’t say life, because at this point Leo is really just existing, working and that’s it. But when Edwin begins to really take a turn for the worse, Leo wants to be there for him. He returns to Cornwall to Edwin’s and it is here he meets Tris. Tris, who is gentle and decent; not long out of the closet but wanting to be a good person. He is a good person, which makes the wanting even better. He has a son he loves very much, a business he is dedicated to and a wish for someone to spend his time with.


The location of Cornwall, a place I’ve never visited, makes the perfect backdrop to this story, which isn’t all angst-ridden and dramatic, but like I envision Cornwall to be, beautiful, a little bit stormy and worth seeing.


I appreciated that there was no “miracle cure” for Uncle Edwin. He has a terminal disease and he’s at the end of his life. But the quality of that end of life made the story so rich and important, and the fact that Leo and Tris, two people who in different ways meant so much to Edwin (and he to them) could share in that made it more poignant. Uncle Edwin’s story, well, you have to read it to appreciate it but my heart went out to him.


Ben, Tris’ son, is an eight-year-old who actually seems like an eight-year-old, again, this was very appreciated. When he worried most about “wearing a stupid suit”, it made me smile.


I admit to being a little worried when Leo went back to London because sometimes, no matter what you think, habits are hard to break. Uncle Edwin’s letter to Leo’s mom, though, yes. Seize the day.


For me, the last paragraph of this book was absolutely perfect.