I decided to start this series from the beginning, the extended novella Home Again. It’s a good plot that maybe slips a bit on the sugary slide towards the end, but all in all I enjoyed it quite a lot. The story plans out on a parallel temporal line, one point of view is from Clark, who remember how he met Noah when they were only 17 and 13 years old, and the other one is from Noah, 14 years later, on an hospital bedroom after an accident, trying to understand why everyone seems older than what he remembers.
Even if Noah is the younger of the two, it’s not for that reason that Clark assumes a protective role on his regard; actually Noah is (now) and was (then) way stronger than Clark, and even more experienced, but he has some behavioural issues, that at 13 years old he was not able to manage, if not rebelling against his parents, and that now, at 27 years old, he needs Clark’s help to help him. I can relate to Clark’s character, having lived his same experience, assisting a parent during a terminal illness, and seeing that parent die when you were in that moment when everything changes, on the edge between young and adult. Clark can be naïve, and innocent, but he is not stupid, and he immediately understands that he needs to help Noah, otherwise the other kid will not arrive to that edge, let alone go through it.
This part of the novel can be a little optimistic, but it’s also really romantic; I can believe that 13 and 17 years allow you to believe in forever love and all, and that falling in love at first sight is not impossible. I can even believe that Clark was unaware of his homosexuality until Noah didn’t put him in front of it; Clark had other bigger problems to occupy his mind.
Even the other parallel story, the one about adult Clark and Noah, the hospital experience and the coming back home, even that was good. Again there is a lot of sugar, a lot of bared emotions, maybe a little too much optimism, but that is the stuff of romance.
The only point that I really didn’t catch, is the reason why Clark and Noah had a break-up and lived apart for 3 years. And even the afterward explanation, with Noah’s brother’s involvement was too rushed, at least for me. It seemed stupid that two men who love each other so much were willing to live apart for 3 years for a stupid mistake no one of them was willing to admit. But again, love can be unpredictable, and nor Clark or Noah are really expert about it, being more or less the first for each other. So maybe this was only a step in their relationship they needed to reach and overcome sooner or later, to test it and make it stronger for the future.
Amazon Kindle: Home Again (Home Series)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 16, 2011)
Cover Art by Paul Richmond