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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane

Heartbreaking story. I was at the edge of tears most of it. I couldn't and didn't want to put this book down, I wanted Peter and Bodi to be happy, I wanted a resolve for both of them, a sort of redemption and it took long enough till we got there. Their story (including Michael's) was SO tragic. Daisy (the town Peter grew up in) might sound like a pretty flower, but as his mother told him - looks can be deceiving. Daisy is the sort of place people preach about the kindness of the church but have no real kindness in themselves. This is the town that took 3 young kids and broke them. 

When Peter was 10 years old, his mother dropped him on her sister's house and left. She wanted so much more for herself and Peter but she just couldn't support them both and so she did what she thought best even though it broke both of their hearts. Peter and his aunt never truly got along, but he got everything he could have wished for in Michael who became like an older brother. Michael was everything to Peter, a role model, the most amazing guy there is and can be. Michael took care of Peter, he was there for him always, at home as well as in school when kids started making fun of him and bullying him for being gay (they assumed, he neither corrected them nor rejected their assumption). Two years later Bodi became Michael's best friend and also a secret love interest for Peter. 

Michael had big plans for all of them. For Bodi and himself to open a motorcycle garage and for Peter, the smartest, going to college and becoming so much more than the small town of Daisy could ever offer him, yet everything fell apart one horrible day in which everyone's life shattered. It was also the day the people of Daisy found out what Peter knew for a few years - Bodi and Michael were lovers. The three of them lost more than their innocence that day. In order to protect Bodi from the town's wrath he took him to the next town with all of his stuff and enlisted to the army leaving Peter (and Bodi) behind just a few days later. This shattered all of them. Peter for being left behind, almost 16 years old living with an aunt who wants nothing to do with him, Bodi was all but thrown from Daisy, being left all alone, without his lover and Peter whom he considered a close friend. Michael might have made the hard decisions but he was broken as well by everything that happened and so the book starts 6 years later when he is returned to Daisy in a coffin.

The story goes back and forth from the past to the present. The whole story being told from Peter's POV. It was heartbreaking seeing how much the town broke them and how they fell apart instead of trying to stick together. All the hopes, all the dreams were taken away. Michael couldn't be and wasn't the hero Peter wanted and expected him to be. Bodi the golden boy, with the confidence and bright smile became a shadow of the man he used to be and Peter just stayed in Daisy doing his best to collect enough money to actually make the step of going to college, but mostly waiting for Michael to return home. 

There's a week before the funeral and so Peter drives to the next town, where he dreamt of studying in college and stops at Bodi's house. Peter is shaken to see the state Bodi is in and he realizes there is a lot he missed about Michael himself and about Michael and Bodi's relationship. It all starts to become clearer in the week the spend together fixing Michael's motorcycle as per his (last) request. 

This week is a time for Peter and Bodi to reconnect, for Peter to finally admit to Bodi he loved him all these years, and for Bodi to try and find the worth in himself he lost when he realized he was left behind. It's also time for Peter and Bodi to build a special, sweet and yet painful sort of a relationship. One Peter hopes can overcome Michael's death. The relationship buildup wasn't the usual one because it was based on need and pain, without either of them knowing how life would be a week from now. I loved every minute of it and yet I was near tears every time they pull apart. 

I don't want to say more because as it is, I said a lot more than I should have. I tried not to spoiler and I think in a way I didn't, because most of the things I revealed are either told early on or were quite obvious even when unsaid. This book was SO SO good in the most shattering way. It was emotional without being OTT, it was just so damn sad. I can totally see this story happening in any small town in which being gay is considered a sin. It's was awful seeing everyone turning their backs on them. The sermon of Michael's funeral was POWERFUL. There isn't a better word to describe it. It's too bad people doesn't realize that LIFE is more important that ANYTHING, and it's really doesn't worth DEATH, like the one Michael found when he was rejected from the very place he was lover and cared for an instant before (he was considered a sinner). 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (though be sure to have kleenex near by).

Read on:
28-29 Mar-2017

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