Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sidecar by Amy Lane

Reviewer:  Bob Lind, Echo Magazine 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press, June 2012, 
Pages: 255

On his way home from his job as a pediatric nurse at a hospital, Joe Daniels finds a young man by the side of the road, obviously in need of help. 16 year old Casey had run away from his parents, who could not deal with the revelation that he was gay. Still suspicious from a run-in with an abusive trucker who had picked him up when he first accepted a ride, Casey was wary about accepting Joe's offer of a ride and a meal, wondering what he would expect in return. As a turned out, Casey had lucked out, since Joe was an exceptionally caring and generous individual who simply wanted to help, as he had helped other runaways, both male and female, he found along the roads in his sparsely-populated Northern California town. 

Usually, Joe would first get the runaways calmed-down and fed, listen to the story they needed to tell someone, and then get then back home, or, if not feasible, call the local authorities to intercede. But Joe felt something special in talking with Casey, and arranged for him to stay as long as he wanted. Casey was thrilled with the arrangement, which included him going back to school and helping Joe with the significant renovations he was doing on his home. More than thankful, Casey also felt a connection with Joe, and was not shy about suggesting they become lovers, something that Joe immediately discouraged. Years passed, and both Casey and Joe had other relationships, but there was always something missing from those encounters, a closeness and love that they only had for each other.

The author weaves an outstanding story of love, compassion and faith, illustrating our ability to create an extended "family" based on trust and cooperation, The book spans a twenty-five year period, starting in 1986, and is very realistic on how the world and people can change in that period of time. Significant erotic content is not out of place, but reinforces defining the relationships between the characters. Excellent "It Gets Better"-ish message for gay youth and others facing adversity. Bravo! Five stars out of five. 


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