Author: N.R. Walker
Publisher: *Not Listed
Cover Artist: Blueheart Press
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/15/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, M/M Romance
It was just an ordinary day for Alex Harper at Harper’s Antiquities, until Callum Winters walked in with a watch.
“It was my Grandfather’s. I was hoping you could tell me something about it.”
A love story of two couples, generations apart.
** Second Edition. Earlier edition released in 2012. No additional content has been added.
This is a two-scoop novella. First we have the story of Alex Harper, who works in his parents’ antique shop in San Francisco, and is their resident expert in watches and clocks. When Callum Winters, a young stranger with a southern drawl, brings in his grandfather’s watch for repair, Alex discovers a secret that draws the two young men together and changes their lives. I grabbed the chance to review this because I happen to deal with jewelry and its personal histories as part of my job as a museum curator. Give me a romance between two young men, and throw a watch with an emotional inscription into the mix, and I’m lost for good.
Callum is alone in the world except for his elderly grandmother, who is in a nursing home and suffers from dementia. Somehow he, with Alex by his side, must find out the true history of his grandfather’s watch. I particularly liked the way Alex’s family is portrayed. He’s one of those young men for whom the worst consequence of coming out is to have a family who is always matchmaking. Collum, an only child with almost no other family, lacks that sort of emotional support and yearns for it as a man in a desert yearns for water. There are no grandiose histrionics in “His Grandfather’s Watch,” just honest emotions. The second scoop to this sweet romance is from the point of view of Callum’s grandfather, and tells the story of the watch in 1942. Walker seems to have written this piece more as background for the novella, and then decided to include it because, well, of its emotional power. It is a rich little story and moved me to tears.
The lost history of the gay men who lived decades before Stonewall will always be a mystery to most of us. Rarely did these men get to live their lives as couples with the ones they loved; even more rarely did they leave any record of their struggles or their triumphs. Being gay in the first half of the 20th century was a matter of survival, discretion and deception. Walker’s novella and its accompanying POV narrative offer a remarkably poignant and authentic depiction of something that might have happened. My generation of gay men is that of the baby boomers; and our stories run the gamut from gay activism and being out and proud to marrying and fathering families while living a secret gay life on the side. My generation had choices that my parents’ generation didn’t. My children’s generation has many more choices than I did (which, by the way, doesn’t make it easy). Callum’s grandparents are the same generation as my parents were. I’ve known enough gay men of my parents’ generation to understand some of their stories. Walker’s little book offers us a powerful insight into just one possibility, and it rang very true for me.
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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