This is a book I was waiting to read since it's quite far from my culture: my only experience of Mormons is about remembering some good looking young boys in white shirt and black tie who always rode a bike and tried to stop people in the center of my town. They never tried to stop me, so I don't know what they wanted to say, but I always thought that it should be not simple for them to be so far from home, but maybe also like an adventure: how many young American guys have the change to visit Italy without their parents tagging alone? But truth be told they never seemed to profit of their freedom.
And so when I read that the main character in this book is a Mormon I was very curious, also since I recently saw Latter Days and I had the chance to be a little more aware of how is Mormons thought on homosexuality. And for real it's not a simple life for Joe, he is not only Mormon and gay, he really believes in his religion; he saw the better side of it, the one that says to treat your neighbor as yourself, he also likes the way of life in a small town where everyone knows who you are, who are your parents and your grandparents before then. Joe is arrived to the conclusion that God should love him despite him being gay since he found out that he loves guys in a total natural way, without trauma or big revelation, and so Joe is sure that he is born like that and there is nothing he can do to avoid it.
But to live in peace in his small town, Joe chose to flying down as much as possible, and when the urges are unbearable, he goes far from home. And being the only gay man in town helps also to avoid temptation. But now temptation is there in the pretty body and lively with of Kabe, a lost soul some relatives decide to welcome after he was in prison for drugs (detention not selling). Kabe not only is young and very much cute, he is only obviously gay, at least for Joe that is able to read the signals. And when a murder case allows them to be nearer than safe, the sparks fly and the fire is unstoppable.
I like the story since, even if the matter is delicate, the result is not too much angst, and after all, our heroes don't suffer too much. As Joe is arrived to accept his homosexuality inside his religion, he will arrive also to accept that he found love, and he can't avoid it as much as he couldn't avoid to be gay. Joe is this type of strong man, silent but lethal, but safe as a rock in a wild river; he is the perfect partner to give something steady to Kabe, that is not a bad guy, but maybe a bit too much free and young. Kabe is not a bad character, Joe said he is trouble, and probably he is right: Kabe is trouble since he is not the boy Joe can't hide in the shadow to allow him to continue with his old life; Kabe is a too big thing and he wants and needs all the reassurance from Joe that he will be the real thing for him.
As I said there is a murder case in the background, but it's not so important in the story, the main scene is taken by Joe and Kabe and by their developing relationship. I should say that I prefer things like that, since I prefer to read about them since as I said, I was more curious to know how the author would have dealt with the religion issue, and I believe he chose a nice and realistic way to do that.http://www.mlrpress.com/ShowBook.php?book=HARDFALLBuy Here
Amazon: Hard Fall
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