Friday, July 1, 2011

SOCKEYE LOVE by Sarah Black

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date Published: May 25, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61581-941-6
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE! Grey Morisette, a legendary wildlife photographer, is in Alaska, hoping to get that one perfect shot that will assure him the cover of another popular magazine.

While secretly mourning the loss of his lover, Saya Kihn, who disappeared twelve years earlier in Rangoon, Myanmar, after having been imprisoned there for his critical radio show reports, he happens upon a law student named Sal Sanchez who he witnesses fleeing a supposed bear in the shallows of the Brooks River in Alaska.

As he flees, Grey observes the large sockeye that suddenly jumps from the water and into Sal’s surprised arms. It is then Grey snaps the perfect shot of him holding the fish, just before rescuing him from the water.

Sal, Grey learns, has a passion for the environment and native tribes and is in Alaska camping with other concerned environmental activists, writers, and photographers.

With Grey trying to hold on to memories of his former lover, he tries ignoring his growing feelings and fascination for Sal, as they quickly establish a relationship. With Sal’s beautiful face, continual chatter, and eager hands, Grey is hard pressed to accept the love Sal offers him, especially since Grey doesn’t know if his former lover, Kihn, is even still alive.

SOCKEYE LOVE by Sarah Black is a bittersweet love story that is well-written and engaging in its plot line. It tells of a young man’s innocence and awakening as he explores and embraces his sexual awareness toward another man, one whom he idealizes.

I enjoyed reading the Navajo aspects of this story, since anything that tells of Native American culture appeals to me. Black’s scenic descriptions of the landscapes in Arizona, especially in Navajo country, aroused my curiosity, making me want to venture there some time, also to Alaska.

The fact that Sal was studying about environmentalism as well as Native law was very unique, since I rarely hear of attorneys combining the two areas. It made for interesting reading.

The story flowed a bit quickly, jumping from scene to scene, but it was done well, as one considers it was but a short story. It easily could have been a full-blown novel, what with the intriguing aspects of Grey and Kihn’s past. Kihn was always in the background of this story, like a third wheel that kept Grey’s thoughts always turning to what had been. He is always left to wonder if Kihn is even still alive, so it clearly explains the continual conflict Grey has as he struggles with his feelings for Sal.

Overall, SOCKEYE LOVE is an enjoyable story and greatly displays Ms. Black’s creative talents as a writer.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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