Title: Crossing Divides
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 pages
Rating: A List
Blurb: Carter Hopkins is on a mission. He has already written about the conflict in Syria, but is determined to go even deeper. With his editor’s help, he joins a band of freedom fighters led by Jalal. But it is Jalal’s brother, Nemat, who draws Carter’s attention. Nemat has left the family olive grove to join his brother in fighting the Syrian government in Aleppo. When Carter saves his life and is declared an honorary member of the family, Nemat couldn’t be happier, even though he knows his family will never understand his true interest in Carter.
Carter and Nemat say their goodbyes after the end of the assignment. Carter’s stories garner a lot of attention, but he can’t stop thinking of the man he left behind. Then rumors of the use of chemical weapons give Carter another chance at a story, and he jumps at it. But much has changed in Syria, and any chance of getting Nemat out of harm’s way seems more impossible than ever.
Review: Wow, great story, captivating and thought provoking through to the end. A thrilling and heartfelt story of two men brought together by war and torn apart by civilization. Carter and Nemet discover a mutual attraction for one another, in spite of their conflicting religions and differences in culture, which takes the reader on a journey of suspense and uncertainty.
Newspaper reporter Carter puts his life on line ‘the front line’ to tell the world of the harrowing story of the Syrian civil war. When he joins a band of freedom fighters, Carter learns more of their plight to fight, defending their human rights and standing against government corruption. Carter has had experiences reporting from war zones before, but this is a trip and story with a difference and one he can’t leave behind for long.
Nemet is a young gay man fighting a war alongside his brother as civilians in Syria. Nemet spent some time abroad, getting to know western culture and enjoyed his experiences and freedom. Although Nemet knows there is a whole other world outside of Syria, he is loyal to his family and their customs. Despite his own feelings and needs, Nemet is willing to sacrifice himself in fighting for his people’s freedom and his family honour. Nemet is fearful but brave, he puts others before himself, and he is resolute.
Carter and Nemet find themselves in dramatic and intense situations, both in fear that they could compromise themselves, doing all they can to avoid attention to their attraction for one another.
“Nemet, I wish I could help, but I don’t know what to say” Carter said.
“You do not have to say anything. You gave me happiness for a few hours. That is more than I ever expected. I know what my family would say, what my brother would do. They would most likely take me out and kill me the way those men did today.”
When it was time for Carter to leave Syria, I was pleading with him to find a way to take Nemet with him. Both men fear for the immediate future for each other, knowing that they are unlikely ever to see each other again. Nemet may never know if Carter made it out of Syria safely and Carter would never know if Nemet survived the war.
Nemet leaned over the bed, and Carter felt warm hands on his cheeks and then the lightest kiss on his lips. “I will not forget you”
“And I won’t forget you,” Carter said.
Such a great read, showing us thought to others who suffer in war torn environments, their losses, their fears, their hopes and prayers to live in peace, making their own choices. Thoroughly enjoyable read, written with profound insight.
Reviewed by Teddy