Title: The Rekindling of Love
Author: Derrick Knight
Publisher: Self Published
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Dwyer Von Strohm thought his life was perfect. He had a great job as a pharmaceutical sales representative; he lived in Chicago’s premiere gay community, drove an expensive car, and had an unlimited number of hot gay men to pursue. Dwyer thought he was living the life he had always dreamed. Then one day he becomes a casualty of a poor economy. In a very short time, Dwyer loses his job, loses his status in the gay community and is reduced to living a lonely existence.
Dwyer’s situation forces him to move back home and live with his parents in the small town of Glasburg Illinois. Dwyer left Glasburg many years ago because the love of his life, John Fitzgerald, broke his heart. Dwyer reunites with gay friends from high school who are facing their own life challenges.
Soon Dwyer and John’s paths collide and it is evident both men still have strong feelings for each other. Will Dwyer find it in his heart to forgive John or will he let the demons from their past prevent them from rekindling the love they once shared?
The Rekindling of Love is really a conspiracy novel, about a small town getting together to help childhood sweethearts rekindle a teenage romance that was brutally shattered for the sake of revenge.
No, scratch that, it’s a massive soap-opera along the lines of Peyton Place. Or, given how straight that was, more like all of R.J. Scott’s “Ellery Mountain” novels packed into one. Maybe the book should have been called Glasburg, Illinois or Heartland.
I’d move there.
Over the course of this rather long book, we are told about four gay couples and how they came to be where they are. One of these couples, Dwyer and John, haven’t seen each other for seventeen years. John betrayed Dwyer at the senior prom and Dwyer ran away. Now he’s back, his career in shambles, and is trying to rebuild a life in the small Illinois town where he was once happy.
Derrick Knight unfolds a great, complex, richly colored tapestry about the (mostly) good side of small town America. There are bad apples in this bushel, but there are more good ones. There are parents who reject and shame their gay sons; but more who support and love them unconditionally. I did love the portrayal of heartland America as a good place, a place of love.
There are plenty of clever ideas and humorous moments in the pages of this book. There is plenty of incident and detail, intended to bring this fictional place to life—and one can only suspect that it is based on a closely-observed real place that means something very special to Mr. Knight.
The problem is, well, the writing. I have to be honest, because I liked the story and the characters very much. The prose is stilted and clunky. It feels like a first draft, a “fact dump” that has not been polished or sorted, and at times sounds like it was written by Joe Friday from the Dragnet television series. There are consistent editorial problems (the misuse of I/me, which makes me crazy), but the overarching issue of writing is what lost this book two stars.
The Rekindling of Love promises to be the first in a series, and I urge Mr. Knight to get a very good editor to help him make the next volume as good as it can possibly be. There is much promise here, great authenticity; but it needs work.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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