I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
After the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.
Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.
Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.
But love isn’t always easy, especially when it strikes you straight through the heart.
I read a lot of books. Sometimes I can go months before a book really jumps out and catches my attention. This is that book. I was looking forward to this because I’m already a big fan of this author’s other works. I’m excited to say that this was everything I was hoping it would be.
Archer is a college student who is really struggling. He’s had some major losses in his life and has some internal issues that he struggles with. He goes to classes and parties and tries to pretend everything is alright but inside he’s drowning in grief. His best friend Danny though, is aware of everything and keeps a constant eye on him.
Over a holiday, Danny takes Archer home with him and there he meets Danny’s father Mallory. Despite their age gap, the two men find they have a lot in common. They’re both quiet and reserved and they’re both stuck on losses in their lives they can’t seem to move past.
A series of incidents bring the two men together for an extended amount of time and they begin to find solace and healing in each other. There are a lot of extenuating factors though and things aren’t easy.
I don’t want to say much else about the plot (& I know I have been super vague about everything so far) because I really think this is a book you should go into not knowing much about. You need to experience how the story unfolds. I think the author set the format up in a unique manner. The way she handles the point of views and the time periods was brilliant and had a powerful impact on the reader. (I believe my reading update accused her of being an “evil genius”)
The writing style really drew me in. It had a lyrical quality to it and it set the atmosphere so well. I could feel Archer’s grief and sadness from the very first page. And later, when he’s in the mountains with Mallory, you feel like you’re right there with them as they stare into the fire or gaze into the night sky.
I think this is the most believable age gap story I’ve read. These two feel so right for each other from the very beginning. The growth of their relationship was quiet and slow and I think even more beautiful as a result. It all felt realistic and was something I could really see happening.
The story is interesting in the fact that there are very few other characters in the book. The ones that are there are only seen in short glimpses but they have important roles. Most of the story though is just Archer and Mallory. At one point Mallory asks what’s happening and Archer thinks “We’re falling in love”, and really that’s what this is about. This is a story about two men falling in love and working through their own issues so they can love themselves and be the best they can be for the other one.
I really can’t fan girl enough about this book. I would love to see everyone read this. Realistically though, you should note the triggers in regards to grief, depression etc. This is not a light read and may not work for some. I personally didn’t think it was too bad but I’m a big fan of angst and realism in my books. For the rest of you though, run get this right now. The author’s going to tear your heart out, but she’s also going to put it back together and it’s going to be beautiful when you get there.