You know how sometimes you just need a good cry? And as fucked up as it sounds, you want that feeling of being gutted, of having your heart ripped out. Well next time you're in one of those moods, read this book. It's beautiful torture. Exquisite pain. You get the idea.
It starts out with Peter finding out that his beloved cousin has been killed in Afghanistan. Then flashes back to them growing up together. My first thought? Uhg, not one of these back and forth books! But the frequency of flash backs decreased over the course of the book, and it really was the most appropriate way to tell the story. We started to learn of Peter's devotion and love for Michael, and then for Bodi. We witnessed Bodi and Michael's beautiful young love. All the while knowing the tragic outcome, but not quite knowing what had precipitated the change.
Until the very end that loss of potential, of a young life not only snuffed out too soon but ruined and tainted beforehand, was devastating. But we have to learn to live with that the same as Peter and Bodi, the same as Aileen. In the end I had a smile on my face. For new love, and new relationships. For repairing old relationships and at least the potential for future connections. I appreciated that they showed Aileen's regret and sorrow. Yes, she fucked up. Yes, she treated people she loved poorly. But she at least seemed to be trying to mend things and to finally realize and accept that what she did was wrong.
I know that the town's vilification was an important part of the story, but I will say that one bit was over the top. Yes, people can be homophobic assholes, but it was a little much. Not my favorite Amy Lane book, but well-written and emotional as is expected.