Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sighs Too Deep For Words, by William Jack Sibley

While he was in prison, Lester had a long distance pen pal relationship with a woman named Laurel.  Upon his release from prison, Lester seeks out Laurel convinced she is the love of his life.  Imagine his surprise when he finds the woman of his dreams is actually a closeted gay pastor.  With this discovered, Lester is forced to evaluate what he truly wants out of life, and how he starts over now that he is on the outside.  Starting over in a small town, and interacting with the people in town, changes the way Lester views the world.

I absolutely fell in love with this book.  The story is so multifaceted; there are a lot of characters, and each character is embroiled in their own love- related turmoil.  All these characters orbit around Lester, who is the main character of the story.  I adored Lester as a character; he really defied the expectations of a convicted felon.  Lester has a child-like innocence, it is a little difficult to imagine him surviving in prison.  It is fun watching Lester discovered the world.  The vast cast of supporting characters are equally engaging, and well developed.

While many of the characters in the book are gay, and gay relationships are emphasized, an equal number of the relationships are heterosexual.  To me, the theme of the book is much more centered on love than on sexuality.  I found a lot of the emotional interactions in the book to be really beautiful.  I thought the writing showed a tremendous amount of depth and heart, and the story was truly original.  The book really makes your rethink what it means to "love thy neighbor", and I think the book had several examples of really good, Christian characters who were supportive of the idea of being able to love whomever you want.

The book certainly has a strong emphasis on homosexual relationships, so be aware of that going in.  However, I think readers who really love romance books, real romance books and not soft core erotica, will like this book.  

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.




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