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Heatstroke

Heatstroke - Taylor V. Donovan

5 Stars - KAPOW!

This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I am not a big fan of historical books, but the way this was written is just so very, very clever. Not that it surprised me. Given her intricate storytelling powers shown in her By Degrees series, I should have known that Taylor could reel me in by putting a different spin on a historical novel. Anyway, back to this wonderful book …

Michael is 17 years old, and gay. His parents (who are just wonderful!) are fine with that. Lucky Michael. Not everyone in this story is so lucky. As a nine year old he embarks on a treasure hunt in his Grandma’s house – she freaks out and bans him from entering the attic!! Hmmm … what could she have to hide?

 

Years later Michael is the lead in his school’s revival of “Cafe au Lait” and the director is amazed at how much he looks like 60’s award-winning actor – Richard Bancroft. Grandma Elizabeth loses her “shit” when this is mentioned to her and this extreme reaction piques his curiosity to find out exactly who Richard is, and why his Grandma reacted the way she did. He embarks on an internet assault – getting every bit of information he can on the actor. This brings us up to the current time in the book when Michael and his parents are visiting with Grandma Elizabeth. Michael sees this as the perfect opportunity to go into the attic to investigate. His obsession with discovering the connection between Richard Bancroft and his family leads to an incredible discovery. No bog standard skeletons in the cupboard for this family!

 

This story is essentially told through Michael reading letters and journals dating back to the 60’s and it is for this reason that I have tagged the book “Historical”. An interesting way to handle the genre and I loved it! “Heatstroke” is a short story that packs a huge punch! It is also a free download – one that I would gladly pay for. Twice over!

 

The baddie in this story is vile. Horrendous. Awful. Over the top? I don’t think so. I think a reaction like that today would seem extreme – but in the 60’s I can well believe the ignorance of people playing out like this.

 

But that ugliness wasn’t what I took away from reading this story as the evil was balanced with some really gorgeous moments – my review doesn’t even touch the sweetness or heartache in this story, partly because it is a short story that could easily be spoiled – but mostly because I don’t want to take anything away fromyour enjoyment of this beautiful tale. I realise I am late to the party with this one, and lots of you have probably read it already, but I really cannot shout it out enough … Go! Buy the Book! …. or download it as the case may be! :-P