My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a wonderful book. Slow and angsty yes, but hopeful and beautiful as well.
Cooper is a man with a past. A sober alcoholic with so much guilt in the saddlebags of his Harley that he cannot stand still long enough to breathe. He has been driving around the country for years, without any purpose, just to avoid himself and his past.
When he reaches St. Ignasios he finally slows down and starts breathing. Here he meets kindness and helping hands without any questions behind them. And he meets Shawn.
Shawn is deaf, out and proud, and an all together saint of a man. He is patient, sweet, caring and understanding. But also strong enough to not allow Cooper to push him around and hide from him.
I found the dynamics between these two mesmerizing. How appropriate, that a man who hides all the time, who never rises his eyes when he speaks should desperately want to communicate with a man who cannot hear him and therefore requires that he always show him his face. So well thought out, that it gave me goosebumps!
This story is all about communication. Coopers only true voice is his music. Shawns voice is his hands. Neither can understand each other, but they try and they find ways to let one another “hear”.
Unfortunately, just when we all start to relax – Coopers past creeps up on him in the shape of his ex-lover Jordan, and Cooper leaves St. Ignasios and Shawn because he “has to”.
This is not really true, he didn’t “have to”, and yes I felt like screaming at him, but it did ring true. This is what guilt does to people. And in many ways Jordan was needed in this story. If nothing else, then in order to give Cooper insight into himself. Make him accept and move on.
I am glad to see that Jordans story is next in the series, because even though I disliked him a lot and felt like screaming “poison, poison, Cooper, get out!” he did redeem himself slightly in the end and I do believe his story could be very interesting.
There were things lacking in the story. Parents for example. I know they are grown men, but still. Where were Coopers parents when he returned to River Falls? That irked me a bit. His sister was there, and I did understand that his parents were very dissappointed in him, but surely they would have put in an appearence? And what about Jordans parents? Had they completely rejected him?
I wanted to know more about Coopers past, not because it was necessary for the story, but because I am curious.
I wanted to know about Shawns thoughts on everything. Not that I find it wrong that the Story was told from Coopers head. It was a great way of letting the reader feel how the story slowed down, how everything became calmer as Cooper did. And also how everything tightened up again and became darker and stressful once he was back with Jordan.
All in all a love story, which I would recommend to someone who want a slow moving story centered on characters and communication. Not a lot happens in way of action, but I didn’t stray from the story once anyway.