PettyProse's Reviews > Same Time Next Year

Same Time Next Year by Eden Winters
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's review
Jun 23, 2011

liked it

Review: This was a story of love that lasts beyond time, though I didn’t find enough original sparkle in it for it to stand out in my memory.
Review for Brief Encounters Reviews:

I’ll try to avoid spoilers, though I suspect most readers will guess early on where this story’s going, and they won’t be wrong. Jerome and Greg are young men deeply in love until a tragic accident parts them. The rest of the story shows Jerome struggling through what turns out to be the rest of his life, coping – or not – with his grief. And he’s accompanied by some significant paranormal help from Greg, in a very corporeal, sexy way!

The beginning scenes of a young couple in love were sweet and refreshing. After the accident, the story moves forward linearly, visiting Jerome at different times of his life. I never really empathized with Greg, who featured very little, except through Jerome’s emotions.

The essence of the story was Jerome’s dogged devotion to his annual “anniversary” with Greg. This had promise, but unfortunately I didn’t feel this story added anything to what is, to be honest, a paranormal story trope. The lovers were attractive but not striking, the plot and setting fairly standard. There was little chance within the time-hopping to develop fully any of the characters. It all felt very predictable, and that’s what it delivered.

I enjoyed the author’s style, although I don’t feel it showed her best. Perceptive and witty touches could have lifted it above the usual Halloween fare, but they weren’t fully developed. For example, the muffled dialogue through the Halloween mask at the beginning made me laugh. Then there was the amusing way they tackle sex in a sports car; the poignant way that Jerome ages, his ring getting tight on his finger. These things endeared me to the characters and I’d have liked more personal insight.

Jerome’s grief was handled quite late in the story, when it obviously finally hit home. This demonstrated some of the most vivid and uplifting prose. In a miserable, huddled mass, he sat on the side of the road, arms wrapped around his knees. Rain dripped from his hair and nose, mingling with his tears. The steady downpour slowed to a drizzle and eventually stopped. The fog lifted; the pain stayed.

The short story format felt too limited to cover 50 years or so of a man’s life. The theme was one of romance that lasts through the years, but at times I was just irritated that Jerome wasn’t getting on with his life, or taking a chance with a new lover. At least he escapes criticism for infidelity, even though his one true lover has died :).

I like ghostly stories, but I felt the balance of domestic family details and major paranormal activity sat awkwardly, leaving the characters flat and the story sometimes pedestrian. But it’s most definitely a romance, and if you like to follow the devoted progress of two men despite tragedy, you’ll enjoy it.

by pettyprose…my opinion alone.


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