I'm always looking for stories that fit outside of the well-beaten path, and His Fallow Heart did a good job of taking the road less-traveled. The aspI'm always looking for stories that fit outside of the well-beaten path, and His Fallow Heart did a good job of taking the road less-traveled. The aspect explored here is two gay men who are a little "beyond their prime", at least according to the world's view of the gay community and even some of the people surrounding the two men.
Finn is a 52-year-old farmer, a man who lives in a small town and loves what he does and where he lives. What he has found, however, is that it's hard to find a love connection in a small town, especially for a gay man of a particular age. He's yearning for something solid, someone to share his peaceful existence in the calmer wilds of rural Canada.
Enter 47-year-old Philip. While he may not necessarily be what Finn expected as someone to share his life with, Philip is certainly exciting and new. He's a well-known artist, who happens to be in the area with his nephew looking for the opportunity to photograph an elusive owl...an owl which Finn knows how to find.
Their romance starts sweetly, and I find little problem with how it progresses. They learn more about each other, and get a chance to see what the other's world is like, and how they might fit into each other's life (or maybe not).
I love how they are both human here, with doubts, and worries, and flaws, but they are also very understanding, and the trope of the "big misunderstanding" isn't really that big, and is resolved with relatively little melodrama.
That, though, is where some of my problem lies, and why this book lost a star. I don't necessarily want melodrama, but the two characters never resolve the conflict that causes Finn to leave the city and return home. It's skirted around, and we as readers are somewhat inside each of the character's heads, so we know they're thinking about it, but they don't have any sort of conversation, or even try to talk out some of the issues that come with being together.
In fact, the story sort of ends abruptly. Finn is talking on the phone to some friends, explaining how much he likes Philip and what a great connection they have, and when they hang up, we're instantly jumped to an epilogue-style snippet from an article that basically indicates that they have an HEA. While it's nice to know they end up together, I felt sort of cheated, like I wasn't able to see some of that, and see how they resolved some of the sharper edges that come with combining their two lives.
That said, I did enjoy their characters, and I really liked the journey, I just felt like there was more of a story to tell here, and we only got to hear part of it. I'm not usually one to whine about wanting more to a story, but this feels like a novella that was shoved into a short story, and I feel like the story itself calls for a better resolution.
Recommended for readers who want a sweet read, and not a world of angst. Also, for someone who likes seeing characters that aren't 20, gorgeous, and insta-love. This is a short story that's a fun read....more