Review - "Maroon: Donal agus Jimmy" by PD Singer
Finely crafted historical romance
Very Highly Recommended
Donal is a carpenter, working the shipyards in 1911 Belfast, creating wonderful fixtures for two gigantic liners being built by Harland and Wolff, shipbuilders. Living near the yards, he rents a room with part of his wages, but takes the rest home for his family. The times are hard, and he has siblings to think about, especially his sister who is looking to marry her beau. Won't be an issue for him - he finds himself looking at the lads.
Jimmy is a boilermaker, working on the big steam engines and fittings. Cheery and young, he is from a local family, living with an uncle who is preparing to marry, so he has to move out soon.
Donal and Jimmy, along with 12,000 other workers on the docks, line up every week for their pay, and strike up a friendly chat while waiting on queue. Donal is quietly drawn to this handsome man, but doesn't dare do anything except smile and have a nice chat.
Donal's sister has lost her job, so he needs to send the family a little more money every week. Maybe they can meet up for a pint, be friends, maybe even...be roommates. That will solve the money problem, right? And nothing else has to happen. Jimmy isn't like that anyway, he guesses. So they move in together.
When their friendship deepens, and becomes something more, will these two young men be safe? The times are tough, they dare not be public, and the political climate in Ireland is turbulent - Home Rule is blowing in the wind, and Jimmy may be forced to act. As they formulate a plan to immigrate and Jimmy scopes out the landscape, will his voyage aboard the maiden journey for one of the behemoth liners - the Titanic - tear them apart forever?
Donal and Jimmy are such creatures of their times. Their wary and tentative romance so haltingly entered into, and the two of them so nervous about what to do with each other. Their love is slow to start but so very very believable.
This is a MUST READ. I am normally not a fan of historical fiction of any genre, but this...this was a revelation! This wonderfully rich and gentle novella was so sweetly innocent, these two young men so beautifully drawn, the relationship so nicely realized, and the detail just amazing. The time Ms. Singer took to build this story and fill it in with so much love just astounds me.
Buy this fantastic book. Today.
So very highly recommended.