We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Gil Lemieux was a high powered lawyer until a bomb destroyed that, scarring him inside and out, leaving him to deal with PTSD that rules every step he takes. He now works part time as a proofreader for a medical editorial firm from his hometown in Arizona, but is not really living his life. He meets Keith Kramer, an editor in the main office, when he must travel to the Minnesota head office for training. Initially, Keith appears to Gil to have it all – good looks, good humor, charm and a career he loves while Gil feels he is no longer attractive – not only due to physical scars, but his daily struggles with his fear.
The story is told from Gil’s point of view.
Vulnerability. Leaning into it. That’s what brings healing. – Dr. Soto
Dr. Soto is Gil’s therapist in the book and this line appears near the end of the book, but it describes this story so perfectly. Some of my favorite books are the ones where the reader gets to go along on a journey with the character or characters of a well written book. This is definitely the case with this one – and the journey is not only for Gil, who is the voice of the story, but for Keith as well. Two men, where random acts changed the trajectory of their lives, one ended up far from where his event took place while the other stayed in the same town. When they first meet, Gil thinks Keith is gorgeous and perfect, but you soon learn he has his own challenges and pain – both physical and emotional.
PTSD is usually featured in books with military heroes or former military, but I appreciated that the author brought that in to a story of a regular person. While I can’t imagine how being present for something like an explosion could affect someone who had training of potentially entering such a situation, that affect could only be multiplied with a regular civilian who has no training or expectation of coming across that in their daily life. I thought this was dealt with in a very real way so the reader could at least get a sense of how much this could change your life and the impact on each day, sometime each moment – it’s not something you can just brush off and “get over”.
I loved the characters, even the secondary characters, which you don’t have too many of as I think it would take away from the story. Both mothers, as different as they are, and how supportive they are of their sons and the two bestfriends who are supportive and protective. So well written! There is a point, somewhere in the middle, when it almost appears that the characters have a comfortable pattern to their lives and I was wondering where it was going to go since there was still over half a book left and they seemed to be in their “happily ever after” stage, I was a bit confused, but then the story shifts – and I could barely put it down! This book is all about trust and vulnerability – exposing yourself to change, opening yourself up to others and to keep evolving and healing, since it is not necessarily a destination.
I was first introduced to Ms. Roberts writing through the book “Spark”, the first book of the North Star series, and more recently, she worked with three other authors on a secrets series, where her contribution was a story called “Cheeky Hipsters and Jocks”, so the author is able to write full drama as well as playful stories with a serious side. If you have not yet read Posy Roberts work, and like dramatic stories with great characters, some twists and turns, hot sex scenes balanced with deep emotional scenes – and a need for tissue while you read, I highly recommend reading any and all of her work!
My only hope? At some point, Gil’s bestfriend Frankie will maybe start talking to the author and get his own book, then maybe we’ll get to revisit with Gil and Keith as well!