Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews's Reviews > Passing Time

Passing Time by Ash Penn
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Apr 13, 2011

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Read in April, 2011

When Louis meets an attractive younger man, he’s faced with the tough choice of either giving up his dead lover’s ghost or clinging to the past. It’s been two years since Carter died and since then Louis has had a relationship with a very realistic, talkative ghost. They can’t have sex but nothing else seems to have changed. Louis is determined to keep Carter’s spirit alive until he’s confronted by a very real, very sexy bartender that forces Louis to face reality. In the midst of his mother’s failing health, Louis tries to make the toughest choice of his life.

Passing Time is a novel about redemption and courage. Louis is clinging to his dead lover’s ghost as a way to keep the man alive. While the main impetus for Louis to go to England is his mother’s poor health, the real focus of the story is on Louis and whether he can get past Carter’s death to be with someone new. This struggle isn’t easy or pretty as Louis lashes out at Jake again and again. Jake sees something in Louis worth fighting for and is determined to make the man come out of his shell. This back and forth struggle is honest, raw, and gripping. It’s not always easy to read and Louis often comes across very unlikable in his grief and pain.

Determined to cling to what he knows, Louis tries again and again to shut Jake into a corner and not let the man in. For a long time I wondered why Jake put up with this behavior and in some ways Louis doesn’t entirely redeem himself. But he’s trying and that’s the essence of the story. Louis tries to overcome his pain and heartache to try again. There’s a feeling of hope and optimism at the end. It’s not a happy ending per se, but perhaps more that one could potentially happen in the future.

The tone of the story is somewhat dark, matching the dreary England weather. Dealing with the dead and dying most of the book does not make for a very bright subject. In between are sex scenes between Louis and Jake as their main interaction is sexual until the very, very end. The sex is what initially prompts Louis to take a chance on more perhaps and very little is known about Jake other than what he says. He’s a bright spot that Louis reaches for in the darkness of the story. Some readers may find this too dark and indeed I found it depressing in some ways but there is a bit of hope, though perhaps not as much as I would have liked, at the end.

originally posted at http://whippedcream2.blogspot.com/201...
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