Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/25/2011
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
A Seven Days Story
Can a person’s life change in just one day? How about seven?
This is the story of seven pivotal days in Evan Donaldson’s life. Evan was a teenage street hustler when Father Valentin talked him into coming to Saint Bartholomew’s Academy. In that one day, Evan’s entire life changed. That’s the day he met his roommate, Clay Mueller, and the day Evan began to live. But Evan’s life would change again and again, from abuse to first love, to separation and heartbreak, and eventually to starting his own family. Through it all, whenever a door closed for Evan, a window opened, and the window was Clay.
From the first day of finding faith and connecting with Clay through their relationship’s twists and turns, this is a glimpse into seven decisive days and the critical, amazing way a single moment can change destiny.
Comparing “Seven Days” with “Unconditional Love” for this Prism retro-read, it’s clear that Andrew Grey loves his formulae. The danger of using a formulaic approach to novel writing (something with which the m/m genre is deeply imbued), is that the ornamentation of the formula—plot, character, setting—must be very good to overcome the predictability of the storyline. The best writers do this very well.
“Seven Days” is a good one, and perhaps that’s because for this thirteen-year saga Grey chose to push buttons that resonate particularly for me. Here we have a teenager, orphaned and forced into hustling on the streets, rescued by a kindly Catholic priest and whisked away to his secluded all-boys boarding school. That sounds like a horrible set up, but in fact I was surprised by the rather tough- minded affection for Catholic priests and schools that is at the core of this book.
Evan Donaldson thrives at Father Valentin’s school, and there meets Clay Mueller, who is his roommate. Their story spins out over the course of thirteen years, each of the chapters reflecting a significant jump in time. The boy-meets-boy/boy-loses-boy format is energized by Grey’s persuasive depiction of both Evan and Clay. Additionally, the other boys in the school—who continue to play secondary roles throughout the larger story—are a welcome counterpoint to the traditional bullies and jocks. Their strength as characters holds the plot together when the all-too-expected baddie makes his appearance.
The second half of the book is even stronger than the first, particularly with the appearance of four-year-old Nicholas. There’s plenty of satisfying emotion in “Seven Days,” and Andrew Grey’s gifts as a writer are at their sharpest in this book.
I would like to thank the publisher 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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