When Donnie Saunders, a deadbeat redneck with a temper, is brought to the Corinth PD as a suspect in a hit-and-run, Ben finds himself surprisingly intrigued by the man. He quickly establishes Donnie’s innocence but can’t shake the feeling that Donnie is hiding something. When they unexpectedly encounter each other again at an AA meeting in Atlanta, sparks begin to fly.
With his marriage on the verge of collapse, Ben is grateful for the other man’s affection. But he is soon struggling to help an increasingly vulnerable Donnie, while at the same time having to deal with the upheaval in his own life. Ben eventually realizes that they cannot achieve happiness together unless they confront their darkest secrets.
Content warning: The book is heavy on the hurt/comfort. There are mentions of child abuse, and realistic descriptions of serious medical issues and symptoms.
Now, this is where Ben gets to see Donnie as a real person, having met him previously through his job as a Policeman. For some reason, he seems to find a sort of peace inside when he is with Donnie. It is a tentative friendship to begin with, especially as Ben is going through some real tough decisions to do with his marriage, and it seems like Donnie is the only one he can find to talk to – Donnie is someone who will listen to him without making any judgements.
I am not going to spoil it and say what happens, but suffice to say Ben shows what a tower of strength he is for Donnie, when he needs him the most, even when his own life seems to be falling apart, Ben is there for Donnie. But also, this leads to the real thought provoking part of the book for me, when we run into discrimination within the medical community concerning Donnie.
Now Ben has some real hard thinking to do, about what direction he wants his life to go now, and Donnie has to believe that good things can happen to him. However, can they each get past their problems to see what they could achieve together.
I will also add that there is a warning with this book from the author: The book is heavy on the hurt/comfort. There are mentions of child abuse, and realistic descriptions of serious medical issues and symptoms. I must praise the author on how these situations were portrayed in this book, it was done with total sensitivity. I did enjoy this book, and I will be looking for more books by this author.
If you were to ask her parents what Mel enjoyed the most since the age of six, they would undoubtedly say “Reading!” She would take fifteen books on a three-week beach holiday, and then read all her mom’s books once she’d devoured her own midway through week two.
Back home in her mom’s attic there’s a box full of journals with stories Mel wrote when she was in her early teens. None of the stories are finished, or any good. She has told herself bedtime stories as far back as she can remember.
In her day job, Mel works for an NGO as operations manager. No other city is quite like London, and Mel loves her city. The hustle and bustle still amaze and thrill her even after all these years. When not reading, writing or going to the theater, Mel spends her time with her long-time boyfriend, discussing science or poking fun at each other.