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For the man he loves, he will fight—body, mind, and soul.
Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood, there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared.
But a fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a horrific incident.
Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first love has been lost to him—until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet.
Amid the rush of emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly tearing Alistair’s mind apart.
Warning: Contains a drunken confessional, a self-destructive clergyman, and a fight to the spiritual death for love.
I’m not sure where to start. I don’t know how to get this out without my rambling nature coming to the forefront and messing this up. So, hang with me yeah?
This is a story about two boys who go through trauma. A horrible, terrible, unthinkable trauma. Each goes through it in different ways. Each of them deals with it differently… apart. Two boys, who were inseparable, thrust apart, only to find each other again. Finding each other and dealing with what happened so many years ago.
Honestly, I’m not sure I can really review this. I can tell you things about it that won’t ruin the book for you. I can tell you how I felt reading it. I can tell you how I feel now. Things like how Alistair grows up very secluded, in a home with parents who are very religious. He’s pretty set on becoming a priest. Alistair’s parents are all over that idea. He’s also very much in love with his best friend Ryde. Alistair and Ryde have their own, other ideas about how they are going to live their lives after high school.
I can tell you that Ryde is fierce in his love of Alistair. He’s got quirky parents and twin sisters who love him, encourage him and protect him. A family who believes in him and it’s beautiful. While Ryde tells us the story of he and Alistair, his family and friends are there in the background helping him along.
I’ll mention that things break down. The pressure cooker that is Ryde’s life comes to an explosion of pain and suffering that he can’t deal with anymore. The only way to fix things is to remember. But in his remembering… in Alistair remembering, they reach toward that point where healing can take place. And with everything that I am, I’m telling you this was a hard journey to go through, but so freaking worth it.
Issues with the church, PTSD, dissociative identity disorder, alcoholism, the guilt. All of these things play such an important part of the story. They’re woven into everything that is and was these two young men, the boys they were, the adults they become. It’s heartbreaking, crushing, and everything I wanted this book to be and it’s all wrapped up in what I think is the perfect ending… their way to healing. And if you can’t tell, I absolutely loved it.