Author Name & Publisher: Charlie David (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 25, 2016 – 200 pgs
Chase never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson—a connection he fears he’ll lose if he tells Tyler he’s gay. Keeping his sexuality secret becomes harder for Chase as he joins Tyler and his family at their idyllic lake house for the summer. It grows more and more difficult for Chase to avoid Tyler’s attempts to set him up with girls, and he’s tired of making excuses. Chase is ready to embrace the man he is, but he’s afraid of what it will cost him.
The Davidsons seem like the perfect family, but Chase soon realizes there’s trouble in paradise. Tyler’s dad, Nathan, has done everything to make a good life for his wife and children—including suppressing his sexuality and denying his needs for years. But like Chase, Nathan is growing weary of living a lie. What begins as an offer of support from Chase grows into an unexpected attraction that will have profound effects on everyone. Chase and the Davidsons are about to learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that perfection isn’t a requirement for friendship and love.
1st Edition published by Palari Publishing LLp, 2010.
This is not a love story. This is what reality can look like in a situation like this. Honestly this story completely broke my heart.
Chase in my opinion does not have the best outlook on things. He is scared to come out to his best friend Tyler for fear of losing he only person that he feels like is family. He lost his dad at and his mom pretty much stopped living when this happened and he was alone. With deciding to spend the summer with Tyler and his family I think that Chase got a taste of the other side of what a family could be like and it was not all pretty like the outside package appeared.
Nathan is Tyler’s father and I believe that he is just existing. He is not really a part of his family even though he goes brought the motions. Once he learns that Chase is gay he starts questioning all the things that he has tried to suppress. And he starts to make major mistakes that affects everyone he loves.
This is a story about someone who has hidden himself for so long that when it finally came to light who he really was, it destroyed his family. But on the other hand, they all love each other as a family that even though they are hurt they come to accept that things change and along with that change they can still love each other as a family.
The one I feel sorry for in this book is Tyler and Chase. I feel sorry for Chase because he may have very well lost the one person he thinks of as family and I feel sorry for Tyler because he feels betrayed by not only his mom and dad but also someone he considers a brother.
I do not really see anyone truly winning in this book. What I think is this is more of a reality instead of a fairy tale and it is a perfect description of how messy life really is. It was a good book but like I said it broke my heart on so many different levels.
On the whole, I loved this. I think it’s particularly relatable for people who have come out later in life and especially after creating a life built on one’s own assumptions of themselves and what they should do. Nathan’s internal conflict about wanting to be the best father and husband he could despite his repressed identity is understandable and even to an extent admirable. What makes this so good is the realness of everyone’s feelings and how they deal with the aftermath of Nathan and Chase’s affair.
I had two issues with this. First, it’s really not timeless. This story is seven years old, and a lot has changed since then. Jarod mentions not knowing any out pro athletes, for example, which is no longer relevant in pretty much any sport. There are a few other similar details which make this feel slightly less relevant.
My second problem is that I saw Nathan both in the film and in the book as truly bisexual but never having been able to explore that. Are there gay men who fell in love with exactly one woman? Sure. But nearly all Nathan’s internal dialog, as well as a lot of his behavior, suggest that his orientation isn’t so binary. It bothered me a lot because I think the way the story was told lent itself so well to exploring something more. Instead, we’re left with Nathan riding off into his gay sunset with very little remaining thought to the deep and genuine love he’s had for Stacey.
Despite that, I still recommend reading this book. It’s not a romance, so it’s not for people looking for a sweet falling-in-love story with a happily ever after. It’s about complex and deep issues and how families handle the big things.