Friday, March 31, 2017

In the Absence of Light

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM

Age: Adult
Category: Romance, LGBTQIA+
Rating: 4 stars


Rosie Thinks: When I started this book, I didn't expect it to be the insane, emotionally-charged ride it turned out to be. I've read a lot of m/m romance, and can fairly confidently identify the generic storyline from miles away. After reading the summary, I thought this would be yet another instalove story with stereotypical, 2D characters that I'd seen a hundred times before. The only reason I was quite intrigued was one of the main character's being autistic. And, surprise surprise, the first chapter I knew it was going to be fantastic!

The book is in the perspective of Grant Kessler (which is an immediate bonus to me, as I've grown frustrated with many of the dual POV books in the romance genre). Grant's smuggling business began to take a darker turn that he wasn't willing to go down, so he got out of the business and plans to lay low in a middle-of-nowhere country town for a few years until the heat from the FBI goes down. What he doesn't count on, is meeting Morgan. Morgan is severely autistic, a man with an uncontrollable tic, can't tell right from left, struggles to make eye contact and sometimes gets lost in his own head. Beneath all this, however, lies the mind of a strong and brilliant young man who has overcame every obstacle thrown his way. Their attraction is mutual, but Grant can't seem to see past Morgan's autism.

You can probably tell from that brief summary that this story had the potential to go very, very wrong, and that's what made it so intriguing to me at first. To me, Morgan's autism was explored with beautifully by Wilder. She made Grant confront his own prejudices and stereotypes, and questioned what 'normal' really is. There was one line that really stuck with me, and the gist of it was Morgan is a man with a mental condition, not a mental condition who is a man.

This is truly a well-rounded story. The romance between Morgan and Grant has centre-stage, but there were problems from both characters' pasts that were very interesting and kept the plot moving along at a really nice pace. I honestly didn't really pick where the plot would go, and I love that in a story. Both characters felt like real people and even though most of the minor characters didn't play huge roles, they were all great to read about.

Wilder's writing is utterly beautiful. I've read quite a few of her other books, so I can say with full confidence that she is a master of emotive writing! Some of her descriptions were just downright beautiful, and I particularly liked the way she described Morgan's tic. And light. As the title suggests, light plays a big role in the story and the way Wilder has written about it was stunning! There were a lot of powerful themes in this novel, about ostracism and ignorance, and Wilder wrote them in a way that was heart-rending. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to any lover of the m/m genre!

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