Reviewed by Danielle
Title: Life After Living
Author: Max Vos
Publisher: Max Vos Inc
Length: 333 pages
Release Date: June 16, 2016
Two men: each trying to cope with PTSD.
Vance Spence is suffering from yet another loss. The episodes are becoming more and more frequent. Only time will tell if he will be able to cope with yet another person leaving him.
Wade Farmer recently returned from Afghanistan only to have his family disown him for loving another man. He also is suffering from loss.
When the two are put together, neither are comfortable with the situation, but agree to give it a try. Two different lives. Two different men. Two different experiences, but common ground gives each of them understanding. Are they strong enough to battle their own demons as well as the others? Only time will tell.
I was really curious for this new release by author Max Vo , being a frequent reader of his books and appreciating his writing style and you never know what to expect in a new release. So when I was given the opportunity to read and review this book I absolutely grabbed it.
The title is true when it says Live after Living where we follow Vance, the owner of an orchid plantation who is struggling through a major happening in his life. I cannot tell what because that might be seen as a spoiler. Together with his employee Janice (although that word is no reflection of her personality and her role in the business) he struggles to make it through the days getting everything done. “Everything” includes the doing things he isn’t used to doing especially the taking care of the animals on the farm part.
When Janice suggests that he really needs some help, Vance places an ad and gets a phone call from a reintegration company for veterans. This brings us Wade who, with a loving push from the company’s re-locater Michelle, is presented to Vance. At first the reader doesn’t know that Vance has his own secrets from the past, secrets we haven’t been introduced to but which come out slowly with Wade being there on the farm. We see Vance’s PTSD worsening because of his own recent loss.
The story tells us pieces of Vance and Wade’s lives while they work and live together in the house. Wade was supposed to be in an office which would be turned apartment but because of his immediate arrival he ends up in the main house. Wade gets Vance out of his flunk and gets him in a routine: workout, shower, breakfast while Vance keeps moping.
The struggles both men have takes you on a path of grief, understanding, explanation, curiosity and most of all raw emotions. To me this story is different from what I am used to from this author. The major part of this story isn’t a traditional romance story, it’s more about dealing with past circumstances…about surviving.
When with a little help from friends both men realise that there might be more to their life together. Author Max Vos wraps this story up in a more than satisfying way including a warm-feeling epilogue.
Was there nothing that really stood out in one way or another you wonder? Well yes there was. For me two things stood out on top of the already very complete story. Without spoiling it for you, I can say a memory by one of the main characters had me feeling grief and pain and I felt sick because of those emotions. When you are able to do that as an author in a short scene to me that shows a high quality of writing.
Yes there was also something I didn’t like so much and that is the fact that both main characters are how shall I say it very familiar with a nudist lifestyle, something that for me wouldn’t have been necessary, at least not in the level that it was presented.
The epilogue left me with the feeling this was the perfect set up for more about this place. With people arriving on the plantation and Brandon, who came in the picture half way the story as financial expert to help Vance out with his administration, this set up begs for his story at least.
If you are looking for a different read with a very well explored background and a high level of emotion then you have to make sure to pick this one up. If you expect a high level-romance and sex then this is not the Max Vos story for you and I would highly suggests one of his other books in that case.