Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Passing Through
AUTHOR: Jay Northcote
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 43,000 Words
Don’t waste a chance at happiness…
Leo is a lonely workaholic with no time for romance in his life. His job in London takes all his energy and commitment. When he goes to Cornwall to stay with his terminally ill uncle, Edwin, love is the last thing Leo expects to find.
Tris lives in a cottage on Edwin’s land. Gay, but still half in the closet, he and Leo bond over their affection for Edwin, and the pull of attraction between them proves too strong to ignore. In Tris’s arms, in the wilds of Cornwall, Leo finds a peace he’d forgotten existed.
On his return to London, Leo finds himself grieving for more than just the loss of his uncle. When some unexpected news gives Leo the chance to return to Cornwall, he’s afraid it will be too late to rekindle things with Tris. But having learned much from his stay with his uncle, Leo doesn’t want to look back and wish he’d done things differently.
It’s time to seize the day—if it’s not already too late.
Having been stationed on the coast of Cornwall for 2 ½ years back in the 1980’s, I’m always predisposed to loving books set there. This book is by far no exception to that rule!
When we meet Leo, he has just arrived at his Uncle Edwin’s home on the coast of Cornwall. It is the middle of the night, but his terminally ill uncle is waiting up for him. Leo is shocked at the change in his uncle’s appearance and instantly feels guilty for all the time he has spent away, tied up in his own workaholic life. It is late, so they go off to bed and Leo plans a lie in in the morning. But Leo had forgotten the seagulls. When they wake him at 5AM, he goes down to the beach for a little while, and when he returns there is a large, hairy, sexy man rifling around in his uncle’s refrigerator!
What the hell? Turns out it is Tris, and he is renting Uncle Edwin’s cottage and renovating it for Edwin. Who is this mysterious man, and why is he living on Uncle Edwin’s property? Does he have some ulterior motive? After all, Uncle Edwin is on death’s door…is this guy some sort of opportunist?
Happily, none of those theories are true, and Tris turns out to be a recently divorced man, with one son, who was outed by his ex-wife when she discovered he was having sex with other men. Of course she didn’t out herself as having had an affair with her coworker. We never actually meet her in the book, and I was rather glad!
So why was Uncle Edwin so amenable to allowing Tris to move into the cottage? There is a second story in the book, one which I’m not mentioning, but one which makes the book even better. I loved Edwin’s story, and the juxtaposition of the two lifetimes, was bittersweet to read.
Leo and Tris fall more and more into each other’s company as Edwin’s illness progresses. What will happen when Edwin discovers they are involved? What will happen when Edwin dies and Leo’s mother wants to sell the house? Is there any hope for the two? And what about Tris’ parents and his son? None of them have any idea Tris is gay! Can Leo have a relationship with someone with one foot in the closet? And can he give up his workaholic world, and London, for a hope of a better future?
I’m pretty sure this is my favorite Jay Northcote book so far. I very highly recommend it. I honestly loved the inter-tangled stories and how they contrasted each other. Fantastic job Jay.