Padraig is a ghost; but he is not living in Paradise, he is wandering the earth since when he died, he left too much things behind, above all his unrequited love for Gareth. When he was in life, Padraig was an hot head; he worked in the docks in Belfast and he was not exactly a good boy. And probably he didn't believe he was good enough for Gareth, a shy man who worked as employee in the docks office. Padraig and Gareth exchanged glances but seldom words, and at the moment Padraig died in a fight bar, he had just gathered enough courage to go finally talk to Gareth. Only that he hadn't time to do so.
Gareth is a really nice character, but who came out in full in this novella is Padraig. I can almost see him, always self deprecating himself, always thinking that, someone like him, doesn't deserve anything better than what he gets. As a dead man, he almost arrives to think that, well, maybe it's better that he ended like that, for his mother and Gareth will only be better without him. Even when he has the possibility to come back to life in the body of another man, a dying man, he has still this little doubt that maybe the dying man was better than him, and so he shouldn't deprive him of his life: mind you, Patrick doesn't do nothing to "kill" the man, he only happens to be there at the right moment for him to possess the body of a man that would die in any case.
Ten years for Padraig were without "time". Padraig knew he was a ghost, but for him time means nothing and so, when on St. Patrick's Day he has a second chance with Gareth, for him it's like he left the man only seconds ago. Not the same for Gareth, who is mourning his lost chance with Padraig for years, even more since when Padraig died, he received his last gift, the token which should have marked the beginning of their love together. And so when he is approached in a bar by a man with the same green eyes of Padraig, he does the unthinkable, he brings him home. Probably since so many years ago Gareth hadn't the courage to grasp his chance at love, and he always regretted it, now Gareth gives to this "second" Padraig in his life the chance he didn't give to old Paddy.
This is a novella and so spans only a night and a day in Padraig and Gareth's life. Their present time together is spent practically always in bed, like they have to make up for the lost time; the romanticism and the sugary feelings arrive all from their past together, even in few words, T.A. Chase manages to let you imagine the life of these men, when they were young and full of hope, when they still had all their life ahead of them. From here derives the mix between sex and romance I said before: when the reader is almost to the edge of tears, thinking to all the lost things, then he is plunged in an erotic scene, that even if detailed, it's never vulgar.
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott
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