AUTHOR: THEO FENRAVEN
Photography genius Ethan Mars is out and living the fast life in Los Angeles until a mysterious mist in Topanga Canyon sends him back in time. There he meets Quinn Parker, a farmer who has hidden his homosexuality from everyone, even Margaret, his fiancée. Falling in love is the last thing Ethan expects, and the last thing Quinn can allow—in 1863, being gay can get him killed. When Ethan is unexpectedly offered a way home, he faces an impossible decision: go back... or stay?
I do like a good time-travel story, especially when the author keeps the story realistic. There is nothing more frustrating than a modern character travelling back to earlier times – like in this case 1863 – and seamlessly falling into the way of life they find there. Of course such a character would miss modern conveniences, and have huge issues fitting in and getting used to the morals and traditions.
This story adds an extra consideration to that dilemma. Not only does Ethan find himself in a time where personal hygiene is still frowned upon, where he doesn’t trust the water and finds himself having to use an outhouse that gives him the creeps, he is also facing a time and place where homosexuality is still considered a crime as well as a sin. While completely equal rights may still be a goal to aim towards in Ethan’s world, he is used to living in a time and place where he can be who he is without having to hide anything.
My heart broke for poor Quinn. After years of more or less successfully suppressing his desires he suddenly finds himself face to face with a man who openly admits he is attracted to him. Within minutes of meeting Ethan all Quinn’s certainties have been destroyed. The future Quinn knew he was destined for – marriage to a woman he’s known for years, followed by children – and was ready, although not happy, to face suddenly appears impossible. And the more he gives in to his attraction to Ethan the more impossible the idea of ignoring his needs seems. And yet, what is the alternative? Ethan has to return to his own time, to live his own life just as Quinn has to face his destiny.
There was one paragraph in this book that took my breath away; a statement that should be made into one of those Facebook photo-quotes by somebody who knows about these things.
“But if it was so bad, why then did he want it so? Why had God made him this way if it went against his will? God didn’t make mistakes. Quinn was not a mistake.” - Quinn
This was an interesting and charming story; a quick read I thoroughly enjoyed even if the ending left me feeling all sorts of worried for these two characters. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. I love it when a story ends in such a way that my imagination can play with what might happen next. That imagination of mine will have a field day coming up with possible scenarios for these two characters.