Author: Nick Wilgus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publication Date: 07/24/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction
When his mother goes out to party one Saturday night and doesn’t come back, seven-year-old Ishmael Hood is taken in by his estranged uncle Henry and Henry’s live-in boyfriend, Sam. As this unlikely trio begins to build a new life together, they encounter both support and hostility in the small Mississippi town where they live. Seems like just about everybody has an opinion on the matter—and they’re not shy about expressing it.
While this blossoming little family finds its feet, outside forces—and ghosts from the past—threaten to tear it apart. Henry, still trying to deal with the tragic death of his parents, finds himself hard-pressed to open his heart to this needy child.
Just as a little shine begins to come back into their lives, Ishmael’s mother returns, and their world is thrown into chaos.
I really hate not finishing a book. I’ve slogged through horrible books because I’ve been curious about how they ended, hoping they get better. For this one though, I just couldn’t take it anymore. There was so much about this book I couldn’t stand that I had to put it down and walk away.
Let’s start with the main character. In a first person book, I normally expect to like the main character and feel a connection with them, since that’s what keeps you invested in their story. Even if it’s a book with an evil main character, you want to be able to understand where they’re coming from.
But not this one. Not Henry Hood, the POV character in this book. I never once connected with the main character, nor understood his motivations or drive. In fact, I actually hated him as a person. That was a major strike against the book for me, since why should I care about what happens to him if I can’t stand him?
Hen, as he called by most people, is a royal jackass, He’s rude to a seven-year-old for no reason. He tries to brush it off when his partner points it out and just comes off as even more of an ass. The boy is obviously abused, having been left alone for days on end and having welts on his backside, yet all Hen sees is a tiny annoyance that is in his way.
Worse, the author seems to have a vendetta against southerners. They’re all portrayed as being Jesus freaks with a fifth grade education. At first, I thought this book was set in the 1950s or so, but nope, it’s set in modern times with cell phones and Netflix.
The writing style is also very awkward and unpolished. There are a lot sentence fragments and poorly worded sentences that never should’ve gotten through edits. If the story had been good, I might have overlooked this alone, but with a bad story and bad characterization, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I made it about a third of the way through the book before I wanted to throw my Kindle out a window.
Having lived smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt for ten years now, I couldn’t take the bigotry portrayed here. It gave off a “holier than thou” vibe, as if the author wanted to portray himself as better than those backwoods hillbillies down in Mississippi.
This book was obviously not for me. Other folks may enjoy it, but I could not get past my issues to read more than the first third, and I won’t be eager to pick up any more books by Nick Wilgus in the future. I will, however, say, the cover art for this book was gorgeous.
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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