I am vociferously passionate about good books. And I hate adverbs.
What can I say? This book is still with me, the writing just went right into my soul, slow and steady, just burrowed in to stay.
I can perhaps say as Hilary himself was thinking:
"He was breaking the habits of a lifetime. It was enough to make a man giddy with delight."
Yes, giddy with delight. How very appropriate. Absolutely. Exactly. Me, too, Hilary! Me, too!
This book is made of soft-spoken awesome. Yes, it is a relationship that you do not encounter everyday. And No, it didn't turn me off. And Yes, I adored it.
It was simply a story of love. And love is love. That is all. Tom says it best:"You've got a heart that loves ... and bits that give you pleasure ... and dignity to be respected."
Oh, Tom, you rascal, you made me cry and snotsob, and then you made it all better, and then I was afraid again. And Hilary was just the same, making me cry like a baby and smile like a loon. For once, here is a man who turns down a handjob. And. It. Makes. Sense. Here. First time ever. See, this is where following your character takes you—when you're truly following the personality of a specific character, it takes you to certain places. And things happen in specific ways, BECAUSE of that character.
I love an author who knows to follow that voice, the one that tells you who this character is, on a fundamental level. Beautiful.
And Hilary, this sweet, but slightly cautious man, has truly entered my heart. He is here to stay. As is his garden, a garden that I can see in front of me as I write these words now. I can both see it as it must have appeared the first time he set eyes on it, all jungle-like and impenetrable. But I can also see it with my mind's eyes now, after Tom has lived, and moved things around, and taken care of it for years. Oh, but it is truly beautiful.
Love, dear people, is love. And when it comes your way, you better be ready to grab it with both hands. And once you have grabbed it, hold on to it, because you never know for how long you will have it.
And read this book. Do away with your feelings of "Eew, he's older!" Just think about the love that one can find. And embrace it. Run with it. Hilary. This lovely man of very few, soft-spoken words and endless pots of tea and encouragement.
What a man. What a beautiful man!
Thank you, Ms Bozza, for writing this story. You made it shine. So, so beautiful.
I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, I paid for it with my own money.