Sophie's Reviews > A Strong and Sudden Thaw

A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W. Day
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's review
Aug 07, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: m-m, science-fiction
Read in August, 2010 — I own a copy

I want more books like that. This was the kind of book you can fall in love with, where you try and spend every free minute you have reading it, hating the end of your break because it'll tear you away from it. It's a rare thing, and just like with any other love affair, you never know when it might happen.

This kind of book is the reason I am reading so much crap, because you never know, among all the stories with wooden characters and horrible sex scenes you might finally find a gem like this: a book with a great setting, a thoroughly engaging plot and the sweetest, most touching romance you can think of.

(And it has a Sophie-approved ending; something I wish I had a way of knowing beforehand sometimes.)

The book is set in Virginia in the 22nd century, or thereabouts, during another Ice Age that started somewhere in the 21st century. People live in small towns or farms, and a lot of what we think of as our culture has been lost. The story is told by David, a 16-year-old farmer's son who's also very adept at hunting and gathering. We're introduced to his world through his eyes, and it's intriguing, to say the least.

What also becomes apparent, apart from how "backwards" society has become, is that David's never been that much interested in girls. And when he meets the town's new healer, Callan, it's clear why, since he falls in love with him at first sight. But since there are always smallminded people around who have nothing better to do than judging people because of who they love, their romance isn't an easy one. And there's a possible government conspiracy.

What I loved about this book was how well-rounded it was. On the back cover it says "Science Fiction/Romance", and while the relationship between David and Callan is the dominant part of the story, it's far from the only thing.

I also liked that things that at least have the potential to annoy me in a modern day setting worked very well in here: because David's never heard of such a thing as "homosexuality", it's never even occurred to him that he might be gay. And the discrimination they face seems very plausible, as sad as that is.

And well, the romance. The romance. Wonderfully paced, delightfully developed, in a way that tugs at your heartstrings in just the right way. Absolutely beautiful, and I think this book has earned its place as a comfort read for me.

If you're looking for a good romance (m/m or not, although obviously this is m/m) I can't recommend this one highly enough. I waited a long time until I finally bought it (although why exactly I don't remember; knowing myself I had Very Good Reasons), and I kinda wish I hadn't.

I want more books like that.
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