Emily Moore's Reviews > Then and Now

Then and Now by Clare London
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Oct 25, 2011

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bookshelves: ebook, gay, short-stories

Ned is at an engagement party for his niece Amelie, surrounded by people yet feeling very alone. His best friend Jack isn't there to keep him company, the man Ned grew up with and knew for years. The man Ned loved but never revealed his feelings to. Now Ned must live with his decisions, and he sees some of himself in Jack's son, Thom. He urges Thom to take a chance on life. To take what will make him happy, to not let others make decisions for him. To grab his chance at life with both hands and hold on tight.

This was an interesting story that is split between two characters. The first half focuses on Ned, on his thoughts to the past and the pain he suffers at being alone and not having the man he so very much loved. He exists as best he can, knowing that he let the opinions of the rest of the world influence him and keep him from revealing his feelings. He sees Thom going through the same struggle, and hopes the younger man won't make the same mistakes. The second half is from Thom's point of view, and we quickly learn that he and Ned are quite similar. I liked the parallels between the two characters, which provided balance and connection for the story. Ned's story is moving and heartbreaking, while Thom's helps to end the story on a positive tone and add a sense of hope for the future. This story is about learning from previous generations, taking that information and embracing one's own life. It's a powerful message and wonderful story.

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