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Pub date April 15, 2019
Price 26.99 (USD) Hardcover, $16.99 Paperback, $5.00 Kindle
Vancise delivers a poignant, character-driven examination of the intricacies of love and relationships in her latest novel. When forty-eight-year-old Jax Vanbeermen suffers a terrible stroke and is rushed to the hospital, his younger sister Amelia and his former lover Ben Olsen stand vigil. With Jax’s condition remaining critical, heartbreak and guilt begin to seep in. The duo must come together and find a way to move forward. The story takes many turns, swelling with vivid memories of Jax’s larger-than-life personality. Vancise does a stunning job of establishing the setting and character, while adding complexity to the plot by revisiting events from different viewpoints. In chapters alternating from Ben’s and Amelia’s first-person perspectives, Vancise unearths her characters’ inner turmoil and emotions. Both Amelia and Ben go through heartbreak, guilt, and regret on their way to their acceptance of Jax’s permanent absence. Jax, himself, is barely present: readers learn about him only through other characters, but his larger-than-life personality shines even in his absence. While the author skillfully portrays her protagonists’ struggles, she’s equally skilled when it comes to deep exploration of LGBTQ issues, loss, grief, and the resiliency of familial ties and everlasting love. With its measured narrative and vividly portrayed characters, this thought-provoking mediation on love and family makes for a winner.
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