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In the Pacific Northwest of 1928, Julian Powell lives a life that for most appears to be one of privilege—a perfect life in a huge house, servants, and carefully groomed grounds. No matter how idyllic it might seem, it has become a prison for Julian. His days are filled with the endless monotony of family gatherings, gossip, and brown suits. Overshadowing him is a life-long illness. Julian finds his only freedom from his overbearing family in secretly writing books celebrating the beauty of nature. Occasionally he escapes to the local bookstore, with the hope of seeing the town’s eccentric, William Neill. Julian’s life changes forever when he makes the boldest decision of his life. He leaves to take care of an ailing childhood friend, moving to a place that will take him away from all he has ever known to an unexpected new life. He becomes part of a family of his own choosing, and it brings him closer to the man that he’s been secretly falling for—a man who has a prison of his own to escape. As William and Julian struggle to overcome their pasts, will their secrets bring them together or drive them apart?
I was uncertain about starting this book. My friend Gaby recommended it to me and I typically trust her opinion. But, I’d never heard of this author and so few others had read/reveiwed it. Risky.
So worth the risk!
This book was ethereal in ways. It felt like a dream…so lovely and descriptive and robust in emotion…yet felt otherworldly. Ok, let me get out of my haze and tell you more…
This book is a historical story about a dying man who never knew love. It’s about a small town with an angry and unfair class system. It’s about a recluse, nightmared by the war, but with the hugest capacity to love. It’s about a man with a broken heart who’s given up on life. And it’s about an author who writes so gloriously about nature and all that lives and inhabits the earth that others find HOPE in life through his words.
Yes, it’s about all those things.
Julian is the one who’s dying. He’s also the one who comes from a very rich, yet controlling and unloving family. They hate Julian for his sickness, which equates to weakness in their eyes. And they frown upon the working class…the very people that embrace and love Julian for who he is.
William is the town recluse, who lives in the hills, and who is so emotionally damaged by war, he has trouble moving on with life. Until one day, he comes upon an author who so eloquently describes and embraces the hope in the world, William can’t help but to feel the same.
This book is not entirely a romance, but it is a love story. It’s a story about loving life…and willing nature, tress, birds, bears, berries…everything around you…to fill you up. It’s about friendships and promises. It’s about choosing to live fully and about healing. It’s not only about Julian and William. But the story is about everyone in the town and the characters all have a starring role.
Admittedly, if you can’t tell by my blabbering review, the writing is a bit purple at times and honestly, over the top. So though I was enraptured in the beginning, it tired me a bit by the end. And there are some questions I have about the medical conditions and what becomes of them all.
Still…the story was beautiful and sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like a lyrical story that is sometimes emotional, sometimes lovely…I recommend you give this a try.
Title: After The Frost
Author: PG Owyns
Publisher: Musvit Books
Release Date: June 4, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon,