Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Falling Down
AUTHOR: Eli Easton
PUBLISHER: Pinkerton Road
RELEASE DATE: November 9, 2016
Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.
Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.
Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expected that he’d be the one to fall.
The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?
This one had it all for me. It made me smile, it made me teary eyed, it caused me anxiety, it caused me anger (for a little while but not long) and it left me feeling like I had just shared a young man’s painful journey. In addition, it is set in the area where I was born and raised. Thanks for making this New Hampshire guy homesick Ms. Easton.
As the story begins, we meet Josh, a gay eighteen year old runaway, in Alabama. He and another boy are preparing to leave for Florida. It is October, and cold weather is going to be coming. At the last minute Josh decides instead to head to New England, where he and his mother had always planned to go for the fall leaves.
Joshua hasn’t had an easy life. He and his single mom struggled, and were homeless for a while and lived in their car. They eventually got an apartment and the mother eventually married Josh’s stepfather, but the sudden death of Josh’s mom ended up with Josh running away from his homophobic stepfather and living on the streets.
Josh’s journey north ends up in the small town of Gainsville, New Hampshire, in the heart of the White Mountains. I’ve got to tell you…Josh is a very dark character. His mission in New Hampshire is to join his mother in death and he thinks going to sleep in the snow will be the best way.
Mark is a Marine. He did his four years and got out of the service after spending a couple years in Afghanistan and seeing too many friends die in front of him. He feels he is a coward and couldn’t handle it. He is living in a small cabin in Gainsville, or maybe I should say hiding in a small cabin. His large family lives a couple hours south of him in Concord. They have no idea that he is gay, and he intends to keep it that way.
Then Mark finds a young man named Josh sleeping under the covered bridge next to his cabin on a very cold October night. Could each be the person the other needs to move on? I loved this story. I loved the characters. I loved getting teary eyed (several times) during the read. I loved how the story built and adored the ending.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this is one of my favorite reads for 2016. I had just finished another book that was a huge let down, and even though it was 10PM, I decided to start this one. I read until I couldn’t stay awake, and was back up at 4:30AM (really 5:30…damn time change) and read it straight through to the end. Did I mention the teary eyes?
I very highly recommend it.