The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley. But that’s just the beginning of their story. Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Suddenly Joe’s life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can’t conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.
Casey gets kicked out of his house for being gay. He ends up being a “rent boy” briefly, and the punching bag of some truckers as he hitches out of town. Just when he’s thinking about giving up he meets Joe.
Joe is a Quaker, a nurse, a biker, a bear, bi-sexual, hippie… you name it, he’s probably done it. He is easy going, big hearted and lovely. He sees Casey on the side of the road and has to – HAS TO – help him.
At first Casey is leery – he’s been burned before by men, then he realizes how truly good Joe is and then he is determined to seduce him. The only problem is he’s 16 and Joe is at least a decade older and no way is Joe going to act on anything Casey is offering.
The years go by and Joe essentially raises Casey from a precocious 16 year old to a sassy 21 year old – managing to get him through high school, first love and into college. When Casey makes one final play for Joe that ends up in a huge fight, he takes off – leaving Joe lonely and decimated.
When Casey’s father dies, Joe helps him attend the funeral and they finally admit what they mean to one another.
But – both Joe and his family know that Casey can’t give him what he most wants in life – a baby. Add to this a judgemental sister and a significant age gap and we still have some hurdles to face.
However, in the end, with miracles abounding Casey and Joe put together a family and manage to be the most rock solid team you could ever dream about.
Oh man. I love – love – love- this book. Joe is one of my favorite “Amy” characters. He is so steady but funny. Down to earth and sweet. Casey is equally awesome – sassy and sarcastic – always pushing buttons and never afraid to ask for what he wants.
There is some angst – it’s an Amy book for Pete’s sake – but by and large most of this book is two men building a relationship and a family and making their own pathway in life.
It was beautiful and touching and sweet and sentimental and yet the sex scenes are some of Amy’s best work!
The narrator did an AMAZING job. He makes Joe a bit growly and Casey a bit snarky and just lets you sink right in to the wonderful story Amy has given us.
I can’t recommend this highly enough – I’ve already listened to it three times – it’s just so good!
6 of 5 stars