Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"An Immovable Solitude"

Review - "An Immovable Solitude" by S.A. McAuley

Beautifully crafted examination of a relationship

Very Highly Recommended

The ocean, sharks and Kerry. The three things that make life worth living for Eric Hash. He's inherited his uncle's shark-diving and tour company on the coast of South Africa, and life is wonderful. Except for the small little things that come up. Like Kerry's sister and semi-twin Kelle, who can't stand him. And the distance that he's seen in Kerry's eyes the past weeks.

When Kerry takes in a gay throwaway and gives him a job and place to stay, it seems to both solidify their relationship and serve as a lightening rod for whatever it is bothering the man. When, on the very night of Kerry's birthday, when Hash is forced to face some cold hard facts about their relationship and how truly scared Kerry is about being out, all hell breaks loose.

And in the aftermath of the events of that night, Hash finds himself re-evaluating everything he knew-no, thought he knew-about his relationship, his family, his friends and his life.

What happened to force the actions taken that night? Where is Kerry? And will the two men ever find their way back together?

This book, this beautiful hymn to men, shows how we love and fear and learn. Ms. McAuley takes a relationship, shows us how it's built on faulty pilings in the water, and makes us watch it slowly and suddenly collapse like a pier in a tsunami. Then she grabs our hand and shows us how, in the rubble of grief, hurt, anger and heartbreak, two men in love can re-cast the underpinings and build something truly beautiful.

Oh, and it's not just the relationship Hash has with Kerry that undergoes this shock and awe attack, it's every single relationship in his life. He sees, through his pain and growth, how Kelle is not who he thought, and builds a bridge to her. And then Abraham and what he missed seeing with his uncle. Mela, who we see on the fringes and who is more than she appears to be. Even Charlie, and the young man who lit the bonfire of their hurts.

What Ms. McAuley does so well is show us how a man manages to put the pieces of a shattered life back together. And she knows the key isn't to make it better with a kiss. It's hard work. Time. Grieving. Anger. Fear.

But mostly? It's love, and want, and commitment. And she lovingly lets us watch Hash as he hurts and rages and slowly heals.

Amazingly simple, and yet so hard to pull off. Here, it's done in spades.

Beautifully done!


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