Hold Me Now by Stephen Gauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really liked this book. It took a while to get going for me but once it did, about 75% in, I loved it.
The story is told from the perspective of a straight father and his gay son has been recently murdered. A few times the father's perspective reminded me of my own father.
Many angles were covered in this book, mostly told from the father's perspective. I disliked how everyone referred to the main character as Brenner, not sure if this was his first or last name but it sounded overly formal. Also loads and loads, pun intended, of straight sex in this book which I wasn't expecting. It ended up being a unique perspective as I wasn't sure a gay man could write so convincingly from a straight man's perspective, so who wrote this book and what was the intended audience? These questions held me up for most of the first 2/3 of the book.
There's a section where the father is thinking of the murderer in prison and wanting him to have more time to reflect on his crime. The book says: "Or did that assume a level of introspection and intelligence that would have prevented [him] from killing Daniel in the first place?" Which is an excellent question and once the focus shifted away slightly from the father I was able to get much more into the book.
The book left me focusing on the system of punishment we have, what we expect the punishment to do, why these crimes are committed, and although it left more questions than answers, I appreciated having these thought provoking issues to reflect on.
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