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Connor Graham is a city boy—a celebrated fashion photographer in New York. When his uncle’s death drags him back to the family blueberry farm, all he wants to do is sell it as quickly as he can. Until he meets his uncle’s tenant farmer.
Jed Jones, shy and stammering, devout and dedicated, has always yearned for land of his own and a man to share it with. Kept in the closet by his church, family, and disastrous first love, he longs to be accepted for who he is. But now, with his farm and his future in Connor’s careless hands, he stands to lose even the little he has.
Neither man expects the connection between them. Jed sees Connor—appreciates his art and passion like no one else in this godforsaken town ever has. Connor hears Jed—looks past his stutter to listen to the man inside. The time they share is idyllic, but with the farm sale pending, even their sanctuary is a source of tension. As work, family, and their town’s old-fashioned attitudes pull them apart, they must find a way to reconcile commitments to their careers and to each other.
There are stories that stay with you because they shock, they may shake you to your core, maybe they pull you in slowly for a burn that smolders in your heart. For any number of reasons, when a book takes hold, there’s no way to get it out of your system. I read Blueberry Boys at the end of August. Writing this review now, not quite November yet, the story has stayed with me.
The things that stick with me the most, the way the quite blueberry farm felt like an entity in itself. The way the old farmhouse seemed to hold Connor and Jed in it’s invisible hands. The way the back of Jed’s truck seemed to be floating under a sea of stars. Then there’s this unbelievable way that even in a huge city, an apartment can feel as intimate as that huge blueberry field. How I felt the sun through the camera lens when Connor shot pictures of Jed. There’s this quiet and peaceful feeling, that even through the angst, heartache, stress at finding and choosing the right path, both Connor and Jed felt like two parts of one soul. A soul coming together, finally, one half finding it’s other and releasing a huge sigh of relief and knowing all will be right in the world. That no matter what, everything was going to be okay.
All of these images and feelings stayed with me, and even now, I feel their peace. I love the way this story felt genuine and true. Jed and Connor could be anyone. They’re characters that you fall in love with along with the setting. The strength Connor has, how he never gives up. The equal strength Jed has, how his determination pushes him forward through even the hardest of times. Secondary characters that have such depth to them that they’re not just secondary… they’re vital to the story. Nothing is added that isn’t necessary. Everything, every sentence, every word is important to the whole of the story.
After I finished reading Blueberry Boys, I thought I knew how I felt about it. Sitting down to write it this review, I thought I knew where I was going. Feeling and remembering all these things, looking back on the journey I took one day back in August, I realize I was wrong. I now realize I loved this book more than I thought. This is romance.