Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.
And one particular farmer.
Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.
Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.
So this story is unlike any I’ve ever read. As a result my review/feelings are a mixed bag. Let me start by saying that I’m a Posy Roberts fan and her writing is just as excellent as ever – her characters are unique and fully developed and three dimensional – including the secondary characters. In addition, she either has personal experience with gardening/commune life or does excellent research because the attention to detail is astounding and I learned a lot about what a life might be like in a commune. And – on a side note – living in Portland – I can absolutely see a commune like that existing here and the description of the complex interactions that would occur between the conservative members of the small towns outside the liberal city is spot on.
What I loved: At first I thought I was going to HATE the open relationship concept and I shuddered to think what was going to happen to our poor Jude when faced with the blatant sexuality of the commune and the sex all over the place. I thought it would be a horrible mix and worried about him, but in the end the exact opposite of his childhood turned out to be just what he needed. I see now that the roles of the other men in his house helped him work on the different areas of his “problem” in a way that one man would have a difficult time fulfilling.
I also found myself entranced with the entire commune and could absolutely see how loving was defined a multitude of ways and that one man/ one woman, two men/ two women, etc could be stretched to include other relationships in a way that still valued all the relationships equally.
I really wanted to see the commune – it sounds so beautiful!
What didn’t work for me: Hudson and Jude. I just got so frustrated with them! I felt so bad for Hudson because I don’t think he realized how much he needed to be in a more “monogamous” relationship and Leo – whose job it is to help people with this stuff – was NO help! I felt like he and Charlie pushed Hudson without supporting him and he was kind of left on his own – especially after Jude came in to the picture.
I really wanted Jude to spend more time with Leo in a professional capacity. His trauma was IMMENSE and I think if we’d spent more time with him and Leo addressing his issues head on instead of the sort-of sideways way they went about it, Hudson could have been included in the loop and not made to feel so marginalized.
But – I get that these are people who make honest mistakes and that’s part of the story – but I really thought that Leo’s profession would have given him more of a window into what Hudson was going through and he would have been more sensitive to his emotional needs.
That being said – I do think this is an amazingly unique book about “love” and how it is expressed in a way that is refreshing in it’s “differentness”.
For those with an open mind I think this will intrigue you and it absolutely kept me reading – even if it isn’t something that I necessarily would want to read a lot of again in the future.
I’m still a sucker for that “MINE” vibe and this was the opposite of that so…
4 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review
Buy Links: Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Fresh-Naked-Organics-Book-ebook/dp/B01A2PHDPW/
Universal Amazon Buy Link: http://mybook.to/FarmFresh