FIVE huge emotional stars! A book that reduced me to tears and when a book can make me feel then it’s a winner for me. Like to know more why this book left Mark snivelling into his Kindle? Then find out by reading his review.
We also have Jay with us talking about Cornwall where the book is set. Why is Cornwall so special to Jay? Then read on to see what she has to say. Mark only knows too well as this is where he was born and grew up.
Passing Through by Jay Northcote
Title: Passing Through
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release: 20th February 2015
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
Don’t waste a chance at happiness…
Leo is a lonely workaholic with no time for romance in his life. His job in London takes all his energy and commitment. When he goes to Cornwall to stay with his terminally ill uncle, Edwin, love is the last thing Leo expects to find.
Tris lives in a cottage on Edwin’s land. Gay, but still half in the closet, he and Leo bond over their affection for Edwin, and the pull of attraction between them proves too strong to ignore. In Tris’s arms, in the wilds of Cornwall, Leo finds a peace he’d forgotten existed.
On his return to London, Leo finds himself grieving for more than just the loss of his uncle. When some unexpected news gives Leo the chance to return to Cornwall, he’s afraid it will be too late to rekindle things with Tris. But having learned much from his stay with his uncle, Leo doesn’t want to look back and wish he’d done things differently.
It’s time to seize the day—if it’s not already too late.
OMG! Another book that has just reduced me to tears and had me snivelling buckets into my Kindle. This book evoked emotions in me that were so strong it left me reflecting on life for days. Absolutely beautiful writing from Jay Northcote that anyone who reads this book without getting the slightest lump in their throat have no feelings to talk about.
Leo is down in Cornwall to visit his terminally ill Uncle Edwin who is dying of lung cancer. Yes, I can appreciate this will not be everyone’s favourite subject but that is life and I love books that get to grips with life and its harsh realities. However, as bad as the scenario may seem there is also a joy and beauty to this story with a lesson to be learnt. Leo was always very close to his Uncle as a child but his high-powered job in London meant that he hasn’t visited his Uncle as much as he should have in recent years but now comes to spend the last few days with him. Leo loves his Uncle like the father he never had and intends to spend some quality time with him.
What Leo doesn’t reckon with is Tris the guy who is living in the cottage on Edwin’s land. He is living there as he has nowhere to go after his marriage broke down with his wife and he can't deny anymore that he is gay. A mistake that he severely regrets but he still isn’t ready to come out of the closet just yet. Tris helps out doing Edwin’s garden and maintenance work to pay for his rent.
Tris and Leo are grown men, mid-thirties to forty, but have just never been lucky in love. They are experienced but this makes them both the more reticent and possibly cynical about love having being through disastrous relationships before. But the longer they spend with each other the more the emotions deepen into something that neither men can no longer deny. But life and all its practicalities or realities are still weighing heavily on their shoulders and at least for a while there seems to be no way that these guys would be able to make a long lasting, steady relationship out of it. The sex is hot! When these guys get it on it isn’t flowery twink sex but full on man sex - phew!
So we have the three MCs in this story and oh how beautifully this all played out. Edwin is totally accepting of his nephew’s sexuality and also has no problem with Tris. He took Tris in because he knew he needed a home and not everyone was going to be so understanding. In actual fact he starts to play the matchmaker a little. I thought it was very unusual at first for this generation to be so open about this if not slightly amused by it all. He sees the attraction both Leo and Tris have for each other and decides to give them both a gentle shove. Well, it didn’t take much shoving but more’s to the point trying to make Leo realise that his job in London is slowly killing him with stress and overwork and that is not the only thing in life that will make you happy.
One evening Edwin decides to tell both boys his story, a story until now he has never told another living soul, but before he goes he feels the need to tell his story to Leo and Tris.Well, from here on in until the end of the book I was constantly in tears. OMG!!! This story really rips at the old heart strings but it’s all the more beautiful because of it. Edwin’s story also makes Leo reflect and start to think whether his current lifestyle is really the one he wants. Edwin sees him struggling with his internal conflicts and through his story tries to get Leo to make the right decision, no matter how difficult it may be. There are always options.
However, Uncle Edwin’s time arrives and he leaves three letters, one for Leo, one for Tris and one for Leo’s mother (his twin sister) after his departure. At this point I was literally CRYING BUCKETS into my Kindle!!!! The last third of this book took three times longer to read due to me having to constantly wipe away the tears. This sweet, sweet man trying to make Leo see and wishing for him all the things his generation could never have had. But he was never forceful or demanding of Leo, just trying to get Leo to open his eyes as it is Leo’s decision to take in the end. Gently making Leo realise that life is short and you need to enjoy every single day of it and love is something that you do not dismiss light heartedly, but grab onto it with both hands and never let go. I can’t say this will be an easy book to read for some, but through Edwin we can all learn something. Edwin passed on the wealth, hardship and experience of his life to make sure that Leo doesn’t make any mistakes he might end up regretting.
The title of this book is just so fitting, Passing Through, life is a journey and if that is the case every single one of us are just passing through. The key is whether we make it count or not; to write our own chapter to leave behind for others to remember us by. Uncle Edwin made it count at least as far as it was possible for his generation and he wanted to make damn sure his nephew did the same before he left. The book ends on a bittersweet note, although that doesn’t really describe the way I felt. It was more one of hope, mixed with reflection and a sprinkling of blessedness. In the words of Uncle Edwin and many others “SEIZE THE DAY” and Uncle Edwin definitely showed me the meaning of those words now for sure. This will be one book that will stay with me for a very long time to come. THANK YOU Jay for this truly touching story.
Guest Post ~ Why I chose Cornwall
Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the world. With its wild and beautiful coastline, and bleak moors it’s a perfect setting for a romance. I’m often inspired by places I visit, and I got the first stirrings of the idea for Passing Through when I was down in Cornwall almost exactly a year ago. At the time, I was busy writing Nothing Ventured so I let the idea stew for a while. A few months later, I spent a few more days right down at Land’s End in early summer and that cemented the ideas for Passing Through in my brain, and made me all the more sure that Cornwall was the perfect setting.
I loved the idea of Leo returning to a place he adored, a place that held happy childhood memories for him. But he’s returning for a sad reason, and Cornwall as a setting has so much scope for mirroring the emotions of the characters. Stormy seas, rocky coastlines, and the endless ebb and flow of the tides that put our fleeting human dramas into stark perspective (see the excerpt below). It was the perfect foil for some of the difficult events that Leo has to deal with in Passing Through.
On the beach they crunched along the shingle to the edge of the rocks, then turned to look out over the sea. It was almost completely dark now, and the moon was rising, casting streaks of bright silver on the oil-black water.
They stood in silence, watching and listening to the crash of the waves. Leo’s heart felt suddenly too large for his chest. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, a place that had barely changed since his childhood. The sea came and went with the tides, the sands shifted, but the rocks were constant. Yet here Leo was, an adult now rather than a boy, and his uncle reduced to an echo of the man Leo remembered—physically, at least. Unexpected tears prickled the backs of Leo’s eyes as a rush of emotion so strong that it made him draw in a sharp breath assaulted him. He swallowed hard, forcing the feelings back down.
Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Tris turn towards him, but Leo carried on gazing out at the gentle, rolling movement of the sea. Tris shifted his feet in the sand, bringing him closer. The warm skin of his arm brushed Leo’s, and Leo ached for more contact. He needed human warmth and touch to chase away the cold emptiness in his heart.
About the Author
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.
Jay comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
Jay writes contemporary gay romance, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. She enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in her head to life through her words
Jay will be giving away any book from her backlist to one lucky winner not including Passing Through. Just enter the rafflecopter draw below.
Good Luck X