A Road Not Taken

Jennifer Thorne
Jennifer Thorne. Samhain (www.samhainpublishing.com), $3.50 e-book (116p) ISBN 978-1-61921-283-1
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Thorne’s thoughtful novella is more of a coming-out story about a despondent young man than a romance. Peter is in his broken-down car in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico, contemplating self-harm, when Jascha, a stranger with a heart of gold, stops to offer a tow and some hospitality. Peter’s inability to take a stand and come out to his father is killing him. He finds the beginnings of love with Jascha, but given Peter’s immaturity and suicidal tendencies, it’s hard to tell whether Jascha’s feelings in return are romantic or co-dependent. Thorne’s storytelling and prose grow lively only after a frightening and descriptive melodramatic break where Peter confronts his mental anguish and finally takes responsibility for his own happiness. Readers are advised to have tissues handy for the sappy-sweet conclusion. (Sept.)
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