Title: Jonathan’s Hope
Author: Hans M. Hirschi
Publisher: Yaree AB
Length: 228 pages
Rating: A List
Blurb: Abandoned to freeze to death in a winter forest by his father because of his homosexuality, Jonathan desperately struggles to survive, until he accidentally stumbles upon Dan, who owns a cabin in the woods.
Dan has been fighting his own demons since the death of his lover Sean. Having retreated from big city life, he is content to live in solitude, but he never counted on meeting Jonathan.
Given the dire circumstances, Dan must set his own needs aside to help Jonathan reclaim his life, but he soon finds that the ghosts of both their pasts won’t die so easily.
Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this story of love and survival. I felt for a first novel and that English being the author’s sixth language it is well written. I like Hans style of writing, it is raw in places and to the point where it counts and had me floored completely with unexpected turns of events. Good expository information that blends well throughout, with good character descriptions giving them depth and a real insight into their hopes and fears making them feel very much alive. Realistic detail of their environment adding to the effect of the story.
Dan feels his life is empty and meaningless as he battles with his grief and memories of his lost love. The last thing he is expecting or wanting is to be giving attention to someone else’s needs.
Jonathan is young and vulnerable, he is in desperate need of support and love. Although abused and disregarded by his father, it’s Jonathan’s inner strength and determination that gets him through. Jonathan’s plight made me want to pull him out of this book, wrap him up in a big fluffy blanket and save him from the world.
Left to the freezing elements of winter with little hope of surviving, Jonathan comes across a cabin in the forest occupied by Dan. In spite of Dan being in no mood for guests, wanting to be alone, he allows his visitor in. Dan soon realises the young man’s predicament, he surprises himself when he can’t help but put his own cares to one side to help Jonathan.
Dan and Jonathan begin a remarkable journey. Despite their age gap they have compatibility, although awkward at first and much to their surprise, they find the strength to start a relationship. But it’s not without fear and heartbreak. When Jonathan receives some heartbreaking news it has a devastating effect, leaving Jonathan believing he can trust no one including Dan.
Captivating and emotional, there was a plot element that left me feeling crushed with devastation. Silently screaming “Noooo!” I wanted to Frisbee my kindle across the room. I wasn’t sure I could face the rest of the story. Thankfully I persevered through the disbelief of what I had read and devoured the next couple of chapters. It was so very much worth it!
Watch out for Rascal the dog, he has a few opinions on the situation himself!
Storm warning: Keep a box of tissues to hand.
Reviewed by Teddy