Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published: July 25, 2014
ISBN: 978 1 62798 855 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M, Coming of Age
Book Format: E-book
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by: Helena Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org
When John and Jack first meet they are both twelve years old. John calls his new friend Jackie and a lifelong bond is formed.
Seventy-one years later Jackie prepares to give his husband and love of his life one last, and the hardest imaginable, gift.
Before the moment arrives the two men relive five important moments in their life together. Five moments which show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the deep rooted love they share.
Giving the ultimate gift is the hardest thing Jackie has ever had to do. Sometimes love is too deep to not do what is right. Sometimes a loving connection is too strong to keep two souls who are meant to be together apart.
This book, so beautiful it was all I could not to race through it.
This book - I knew how it was going to end - and it was all I could do to keep on reading because I didn’t ever want to get to that ending.
This is the most beautiful of love stories. Two boys meet aged 12 and stay together for the rest of their lives. Because they love each other. Because they don’t need anyone else.
“No one else will call you that like I do. No one ever will. You hear that name and you’ll know it’s coming from me.” – John
John and Jackie’s story is shared in vignettes. We get glimpses of pivotal moments in their relationship. We’re there when they meet, for their first kiss, and when things almost go horribly wrong. We are present when they give each other the biggest gifts and we are present at the end, when after 70 years together John and Jackie have to say goodbye.
This story and the characters in it teeter on the edge of too good, too sentimental and too sweet a lot of the time. The fact that it never got too much is testament to TJ Klune’s writing skill.
“My name on his lips has always been my faith.” - Jackie
This book deals with a topic very close to my heart; the right to make our own decision about the time we die and the right of others to help us carry out our wish if we’re no longer able to do it for ourselves. The turmoil Jackie goes through as the end creeps ever closer was palatable. Jackie’s dilemma is heartbreakingly clear in this story. He doesn’t want the love of his life to suffer and hates seeing him in pain so the road ahead is clear, except that Jackie can’t imagine a life without John after seventy years together.
“I still have days and weeks and months and years of things I need to say to him.” – Jackie
This book made me smile, laugh and cry. But even when I cried it was with a small smile on my face. It was impossible to not get charmed by the love between John and Jackie, even when that love lead to the most difficult action in Jackie’s life.
This was my first book by TJ Klune and I have to say I’m mightily impressed. I clearly have some serious catching up to do.
I want to add that for me it was impossible to read this book and not reflect on the medical nightmare TJ Klune and his partner Eric Arvin find themselves in. It gave this story added poignancy.
I guess my feelings about this book are best summarized as follows:
“Some books you read.
Some books you enjoy
But some books just swallow you up,
Heart and soul.”
– Joanne Harris
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.