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Justice “JB” Bishop tells himself he’s satisfied with life in the small town of Upright, Oregon. He was born and raised there, and has settled into a comfortable, if lonely, routine working at his uncle’s bar. JB doesn’t expect anything to change after he turns fifty, until an old friend drops in. She suggests he get out of town for the holidays, and soon JB finds himself on an Amtrak to Canada. JB expected to feel different in Canada, to see things he couldn’t see at home. He never expected to find the one who got away.
There are times when a dreamy hushed tale is exactly what you need. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love a good heart-racing, blood-pumping, zero to sixty-nine story just as much as the rest of you. But a stormless re-connection tickles my fancy just as much.
Miss Descoteaux takes us on a serene jaunt into the northern country of missed opportunities, demonstrating that lost love can be reclaimed no matter how much time has passed. JB is an ornery man, bitter from grieving his stolen happily ever after. It was Doug, his best friend and true love that disappeared, abandoning him over two decades ago. He robbed him of his happiness that fated day. JB has no answers besides those he’s fabricated to ease his mind. He’s still living the same life, waiting for his return. He will deny it until he’s blue in the face as well as his family jewels, but it’s the truth. Same little town, same little house, same home they shared so much love.
When an old friend makes a less than subtle suggestion that he take a weekend getaway, he boards the train and follows it north hoping for a fun adventure. He certainly didn’t expect to stumble across his long-lost lover and even more shocking is the alarming state he finds him in.
Doug has made some bad choices over the years, but nothing as tragic as leaving JB. He’s been falling ever since the day he ran from his old life and he’s finally hit rock bottom. When he wakes to find JB standing before him, he believes he’s come to rescue him. He is wrong. But maybe, just maybe, they can rescue each other.
I was particularly struck with the gentle prose and smooth writing. A lovely example of two mature men living incomplete lives and finally getting a second chance. Another charming holiday novella about an unexpected rescue mission that results in restored love. This unfinished business has been put to bed.
Great quiet read if you are in the mood.