RELEASE DATE: 11th November 2014
BLURB: As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend.
But when Jim’s wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn’t know a thing about apple farming–or children–but he’s determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend’s support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected. Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?
I don’t know how to tell you in words, just how good this amazing book was, I don’t believe I can give it the justice it deserves. Being an Italian myself, I would want to read it again, firstly in English and then in my native Italian, just in case I missed something with the first read.
I’m not usually a great fan of historical’s, even fairly modern ones, but this one? this one, took my breath away, I couldn’t put it down.
The author took us on a journey of past and present, we saw how the friendship was born between Cal and Jim – a friendship that was always going to be so much more, neither really knowing it at the time, especially Jim.
I loved how the author managed to describe the war and bring it to life. Being Marines, there was always a bond, especially between Cal and Jim. The emotions were so real, I felt I was there with them – fear, sorrow and desperation were all relevant and felt so realistic as I was reading.
After the war ends, they both returned to their civilian life, a different life, away from each other.
Jim goes back home to his apple orchard but when he needs help, Cal is there for him, willing to help. Tragically, Jim’s wife has died, leaving him with his two children to raise and of course, the orchard.
At the beginning, the relationship between Cal and Jim’s daughter Sophie was not easy, but they slowly bonded and become a family. It was then that Jim realised that it was not just brotherhood love between him and Cal, but true love. This was terribly dangerous and certainly forbidden, a love that he tried to deny for the safety and respectability of his family. Jim could lose his family if anyone found out.
This was just so heartbreaking to read. They had a short separation and I totally understand why that decision was made, but it got me so mad! It’s a terrible thing that when two people are in love, they can’t live as they want to because of the incomprehensible thoughts of homophobia people and the law. Unfortunately, this is still true in certain parts of the world and it makes me so sad.
But don’t worry about Jim and Cal, they have their wonderful happy ending – I would never suggest a book to readers without one! and with everything that these two men went through, it made the ending so much sweeter.