Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.
Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.
This is a book that was simply too hard for me to finish. I put it off and put it off and got an extension and put it off – and when I finally decided to try it again, I got to about the 30% point and it was just – so – painful.
I give huge kudos to the author for writing a story that is so compelling that I cannot make myself read it because of the pain it evokes.
I will say, however, that part of why I couldn’t read this was that the appeal of this book (to me) was the hurt/comfort aspect and what I saw from Freddy wasn’t enough comfort to make wading through the hurt worth it.
I’ll admit that I skimmed a bit here and there to see if it got to a point where the sun did shine through and I never found that brightness (at least not to my satisfaction).
So, I won’t rate this as I definitely didn’t read it in it’s entirety and I can say that people looking for a hard look at life on the streets, victims of abuse, the sex trade, incest, – this is the story for you- because it’s got all that and more. It was too dark for me (given world politics I just can’t absorb this into my psyche right now). I am hopeful that the right audience will find this book, because it does look to be really gripping.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review