Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Final Admission"

Review - "Final Admission" by Sue Brown

Hard topic, beautiful treatment

Very Highly Recommended

Ethan Williams is one of the newest junior team members in the advertising firm of Bingwell, Brock and Bacon.  And already, he's heard about the infamous James Trenchard.  The man must be a horrible person, judging from the amount of fascinated gossip flying around about him.  And he's not even a partner - just an attorney.  Well, lead attorney.

So when Mr. Trenchard starts flirting with him in his first staff meeting, what's a guy to do?  Fight back of course, and let the man know he's nobody's fool.  Except he can't really control his body's reaction to the man.

When he's forced to work a late night project with his boss and James, he gets a totally new perspective on the man.  How firmly capable he is.  Somehow, he comes to respect him.  Which totally baffles him when James calls Ethan in the middle of the night to help him when he's drunk and injured.

What Ethan discovers, however, blows his mind.  This strong, intelligent and powerful man is being abused.  And allowing it to not only happen, but to continue.

As his feelings for the man continue to grow, Ethan finds himself in a quandary.  Whether to let his feeling grow for a man who is involved with someone else, or stop?  To fight his protective nature, or let James continue to suffer the abuse?  And will James ever wise up and leave his abuser?

Sue Brown is known for taking on the difficult topics and delivering powerful and insightful stories around them.  And she delivers one more time.  This is an unflinching look at domestic abuse and the consequences not only for the abused but for the friends and loved ones involved.  It's strikingly straightforward and unapologetic, and coldly powerful in its message.

Ethan is a love - strong, compassionate, fiercely loyal, yet so very vulnerable and honorable.  He guards his heart, but is moved to give it away.  Protective, he makes the perfect partner.

James, such a dear man.  So many wonderful qualities - loyalty, deep and abiding love, passion.  But wired so very very wrongly.  He makes the reader want to shake him, then hug the stuffing out of him.

I've seen how horrible domestic abuse can be.  My sister was a victim when I was a young man, and I could never accept how she could not only stay, but accept some responsibility for what happened.  And defend my brother-in-law.  I still shake my head, but having grown older and hopefully a little wiser, I understand the misguided sense of love and hopelessness that comes with it.

Hopefully, this work will do what some of us cannot - get through to some of those persons, men and women, who live with this horror and empower them to leave.

This is when writing makes a difference - when it touches lives.  It certainly touches mine.