“Sometimes when heaven strikes, it comes in the form of a fierce storm. A knock at the door. A phone number slipped into a back pocket. Sometimes it comes with the sweetest of circumstances or the hardest of lessons.”
Can love survive heaven’s wrath?
Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.
Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning.
Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.
Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.
This is a story that at its core is about love. We meet Anderson and Ted, who form the main couple, but also Anderson’s family, and Josiah and his family. Their lives are woven together in the organic way that those who live in the same community and live their lives naturally cross paths here and there. We get not just one love story between two men, but also those of the others, and not the least, that of familial love and friendship.
Feeley takes a hard look at the human idiosyncrasies and frailties that cause us to doubt, to lash out, to lie to ourselves, and to act out in anger. While Ted’s parents hide behind fundamentalism, it is made more than evident that these are not those that follow the words of the Christ they hold as a religious figurehead, but people who use the Bible to justify their own thirst for power. Power within the community, control over their lives, and the feeling of safety that gives them. It’s an unhealthy obsession that they cling to, rather than face their own inner demons, yet like other addictions, it falls flat and ultimately, a rock bottom is reached. It is from there that our characters learn the way from the bottom is to face their own fears and support each other on the way up, to where happiness waits.
His use of the storm as an allegory was done without a heavy hand. Anyone who’s lived in Tornado Alley, or anywhere prone to devasting other acts of natures, knows of the suddenness these can strike with and the utter devastation they leave in their wake. Lives carefully constructed often find it stripped away, with loss taking its toll even as the spirit of friendship and community blossom. Yet even as everything lies in ruins, people begin to rebuild and their new ties within the community add their own bright colors to the patchwork of their lives.
It’s a beautifully crafted tale, and one I heartily recommend. Available from Amazon to buy or to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.