Title: Mourning Heaven
Author: Amy Lane
Published: September 7, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author Website: link
Peter’s childhood was really a mixed bag. After ten years of traveling from town to town with his mother as she struggled to provide for them, she left him with his aunt and cousin in Daisy, California. While Daisy is a small town with “small town values”, Peter took some solace in his cousin, Michael, who he knew would always take care of him. And then there was Michael’s friend, Bodi, who treated Peter like a brother of his own. Although Michael’s relationship with Bodi (which turned out to be more than friendship) left Peter feeling a bit jealous, he was happy that the two of them had each other. But when a tragedy struck that left Bodi running from Daisy and Michael broken, Peter’s world changed. And then it changed again when Michael enlisted and left Peter with his distant and homophobic aunt. But now Michael is gone, and it’s time for Peter to take charge of his life. He needs to deliver the news to Bodi, and maybe, somewhere he can find a way to move on and move past a town that nearly destroyed the lives to three young men, the future of two families, and the memory of a young girl…
Amy Lane knows how to write those books that just hit you right in the gut. The raw emotion that she can invoke with words is one of the reasons I find myself coming back to her stories again and again. There’s a reality that one just cannot shake in the worlds that she creates–and this is no exception. The characters here are very well-developed and consistent, the world they live in is well-designed, and the plot itself is both interesting and well-paced. I read this in one sitting as I found it difficult to put it down.
That said, I did find the arguments that Bodi and Peter have to be rather tiresome. It’s basically the same thing over and over again in different words. While I understand, based on their personalities and circumstances, that is going to happen to an extent, there did come a point when I realized “well, they’re going to have this same argument in about 8 more pages…” The arguments between Peter and his aunt are similar in that they rehash the same things, but there is a progression and escalation that I didn’t really see between Bodi and Peter. But it works for the story overall, and I found it less bothersome as I finished the story and looked back at it as a whole than I did in the moment.
Definitely worth checking out if you like strong stories that pull at your heartstrings and make you ache for everyone involved…