Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Rocky Ridge
Cover Artist: P.D. Singer
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/12/2013
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Time in Iraq cost Michael Ritter some of his hearing and a friend whose death he feels responsible for. He’d left Alabama hoping to escape a dull, small-town life, only to return four years later, lugging a duffle full of personal demons. Cookesville, Alabama isn’t the most welcoming place on earth, particularly for a gay, Hispanic student wanting nothing more than to earn his degree and get back home to Texas. An image of a somber young man that he knows only by name and the stories told by an adoring sister comes to life when Michael returns home, just as Jay is already half-way to losing his heart. Michael’s biggest battle lies ahead, and he’ll need all the help he can get to find his way in a world where he no longer fits in. Jay’s not sure where he fits either, but it could be next to the war-torn soldier who needs his strength.
The Telling by Eden Winters is a nice little story about a young veteran, Michael Ritter, who returns to his small hometown in Alabama after a horrific tour in Iraq. Upon his arrival, he is introduced to his sister’s gay roommate, Jay Ortiz, and he is given an opportunity to act upon his suppressed sexuality. Battling PTSD, homophobia, and a gamut of self-doubt, he must learn to trust himself and let go of the past in order to move forward into the promise of a future.
I enjoyed Michael and Jay’s story, though I would have liked more expansion of many elements. It focused mainly on Michael’s point of view and provided the most insight into his character, allowing only brief glimpses from Jay’s perspective and how his crush evolved before Michael even returns home. Their relationship becomes heavy quite quickly, which in this case felt a bit rushed and underdeveloped. I liked both of these characters and would have enjoyed more detailed backgrounds on both of them as a means of establishing a better connection to them. Additionally, I was “told” more about the characters’ emotions and intimacy rather than actually feeling it with them, and that was a bit disappointing.
I also really liked the secondary characters who populated Michael’s family, but again felt that I only got a faint sketch of who these people truly were. They had wonderful potential as strong, powerful influences on Michael’s journey and deserved to have their stories told, especially Michael’s mother. What was mentioned of her past was extremely interesting to me, and I wanted more of her, along with how her relationship with Michael developed once he came back from Iraq.
I found The Telling to be a lighter read, especially considering its subject matter. Michael’s battle with PTSD is carefully handled with a few flashbacks and dream sequences, and the scenes he has with his counselor are the most well-written in the book. Again, however, it would have helped me to feel Michael’s struggle a bit better if the emotional detail had been taken to a deeper level and there had been more examples of his difficulty in coping with daily life.
Overall, this is a sweet tale of healing and acceptance amidst the pain of loss, guilt, and self-doubt. I recommend it as an enjoyable little comfort read without heavy emotional weight or heart-stabbing angst. It is simply a tender m/m romance that leaves the reader with a pleasant, warm glow. Sometimes, that’s just what is needed.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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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