REVIEW BY: Christie
AUTHOR: Lisa Henry
NARRATOR: Dorian Bane
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 7h 39m
RELEASE DATE: August 5, 2016
Wyoming Territory, 1870.
Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.
Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is – and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.
When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life…or truly begin it for the very first time.
Okay well, this book broke me. Was really looking forward to listening to it after reading the blurb, altho a little skeptical because I wasn’t terribly fond of the last two Dorian Bane narrations I listened to over the summer. However, his narration wasn’t the problem this time. In fact, Dorian did a commendable job on this audiobook. It was the story itself that I took umbrage with. Had to stop listening 2h 29m into the 7+h book because it was just too painful to continue.
Elijah is the adopted son of the local doctor. Everyone thinks of and treats him as slow or stupid, but Elijah is actually mostly deaf, not dumb. The only people who look past his disability, and actually see Elijah for who he really is are his adoptive father, a local saloon owner named Harlan, and a cattle stealing rancher named Grady. The thing is, Harlan is a sadistic opportunist and gets off on money, power, and destroying others. Including poor, innocent Elijah. Grady is only a cattle thief until he and his brothers can earn enough money to buy land so they can build a ranch and go into business for themselves.
One night, Elijah is sent on an errand to hand deliver an envelope to Harlan at the saloon owner’s establishment. This errand ends up changing Elijah’s life forever, introducing him to how truly cruel and abusive some people can be.
I felt blindsided by certain things in the story due to them not being properly clarified in the book’s description. Nowhere in the blurbs I read on amazon, audible, or even goodreads was it stated that there was what I interpret to be non-con (aka rape) and dub-con, along with some sadism in the form of cruel and non consensual whipping along with hand binding. Just to clarify, I call non-con anything that does not stop after the person says “no”. Regardless of whether there is penetration or not. If someone says “no, it hurts”, STOP immediately, don’t laugh and continue. I do my best to avoid non-con as much as possible, however, there it was right there in this book.
After having read Lisa Henry’s series Playing the Fool, a book like Sweetwater is absolutely not what I expected from this author. The good thing is that Dorian Bane did a good job, and I will most certainly listen to more of his narrations in the future. Well done, sir. Well done!