A lovely voice is given to two unforgettable characters … a love story like no other I’ve ever experienced …
Title: Ethan Who Loved Carter
Author: Ryan Loveless
Narrator: K.C. Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Story Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
By twenty-four, Carter Stevenson has stuttered and ticced his way to debilitating shyness. Although his friends accuse him of letting his Tourette’s dictate his life, Carter moves from Los Angeles to a quiet California town. He’ll keep his head down and avoid people. He doesn’t anticipate his new neighbor, Ethan Hart, crashing into his solitude and forcing him to get out and live.
From the beginning, Ethan makes his love for Carter clear. But he fears Carter won’t see past Ethan’s damaged brain, even though it makes Ethan more attuned to his emotions than most people. For Carter, there’s a bigger issue: he’s been burned by so-called “perfect” matches, and he won’t risk his heart again.
One way or another, Ethan’s determined to show Carter they belong together. Then Ethan receives tragic news. Suddenly he must turn to Carter for strength and support. Will Carter come through when Ethan needs him most?
My View – Story:
The first time I read Ethan Who Loved Carter was shortly after its publication in 2012. At the time, I read all of the heartfelt and glowing reviews, and was then surprised after reading it to find that I was left with a different impression of the story. When given the opportunity to listen to the audiobook, I looked forward to revisiting Ethan and Carter’s story to determine if my first impression was off base.
Few books have left me as conflicted as Ethan Who Loved Carter. I am a true advocate for the differently-abled, and have people in my own close family who daily face difficult challenges. I want for Ethan and Carter the same thing I want for my family members – a chance to be accepted for the wonderful person they are, and to be happy and loved. Ethan, whose traumatic brain injury, left him with little emotional control and the ability to “see” the music in Carter and the night sky is disarming and sweet. Carter’s stutter and Tourette’s has made him socially fearful and lonely. Together they see the beauty in the other man’s imperfections and make music, both literally and physically.
What leaves me conflicted is that I remain bothered by the unevenness in the intellectual age (for lack of a better term) of the men. Carter is an adult man – he thinks like a man, and he behaves as a man. Ethan, on the other hand, is a man physically, and while in some respects he behaves like a man, in others he remains quite childlike. I seriously doubt that Ethan is fully capable of managing his own medical and legal issues, and likely his parents act on his behalf in these matters. Why does this matter? Well, even though Carter basically clears their relationship with Ethan’s parents, I am left with an uneasy feeling that Carter and Ethan are not on equal intellectual and emotional footing within the relationship – and this bothers me, particularly within the bounds of their sexual relationship.
Nevertheless, I also see within this story that which so many others see – the pure beauty of two men facing incredible challenges finding acceptance and love with each other. Ethan’s view of life is virtually unfiltered and pure – his feelings are hurt and he wants to cry, we like each other and kissed so we must be boyfriends. He’s able to see the beauty in the seemingly ordinary or strange, and it’s amazing how Ethan helps Carter to see his Tourette’s as something other than a burden. Equally, Carter’s support of Ethan particularly when he’s emotionally fragile is especially lovely.
This story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Even if you are left with the same nagging discomfort with some aspects of Ethan and Carter’s relationship as me, you should not miss listening to (or reading) this one of a kind book.
My View – Narration:
K.C. Kelly’s narration of Ethan Who Loved Carter is virtually flawless. He manages to capture Ethan’s guileless personality and Carter’s self consciousness perfectly. More importantly, his narration of Ethan’s sometimes almost childlike conversation, and particularly Carter’s pronounced stutter, in a way that accurately reflects the characters without being in any manner demeaning. This is the first of K.C. Kelly’s narrations that I have had the privilege to hear, but I hope it isn’t the last. I sincerely look forward to hearing Kelly’s future works.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook 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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