Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Unraveling by Rick R. Reed


Randy Kay has the perfect life with his beautiful wife and adorable son. But Randy’s living a lie, untrue to himself and everyone who knows him. He’s gay.

Marriage and fatherhood, which he thought could change him, have failed. He doubts if anyone can love him for who he really is—especially himself.

With his wife’s blessing, he sets out to explore the gay world he’s hidden from all his life.

John Walsh, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, is comfortable in his own skin as a gay man, yet he can never find someone who shares his desire to create a real relationship, a true family.

When Randy and John first spy each other in Chicago’s Boystown, all kinds of alarms go off—some of joy, others of deep-seated fear.

Randy and John must surmount multiple hurdles on the journey to a lasting, meaningful love. Will they succeed or will their chance at love go up in flames, destroyed by missed connections and a lack of self-acceptance?

My Rating - 4 Stars!

Rick Reed's Unraveling is a powerful story of coming out a little later in life.

Randy's been living a life of hiding his truth, resulting in shame and guilt. He's weighed down by self-loathing. Luckily his wife Violet is extremely extraordinary and supportive.

The romance is good, but I preferred the development of Randy and his relationship with his wife and child. It's an outstanding story highlighting the struggles of coming out.

Yes, most of it could be mistaken for happening now, but there are a few things that excel in placing this story firmly in the past. The writing is descriptive and serious with a good pace. It's told in present tense, not my favorite, leading to some awkward moments for me. Despite that, the reader is fully drawn into the feelings and emotions involved, completely feeling their angst and pain.

There are some amazingly profound quotes. I love this one by Violet as she tells Randy "I want you to be yourself...And whoever that self is Randy, it's still you. And I'll always love you." 

And this one makes me want to cry. Such truth. "...when you hide as I have, I question - do the people who say they love me really love me? Or do they love an ideal?"

Unraveling is a thought-provoking story highlighting that knowledge and acceptance are two different things. The title is perfect for this emotional tale that is super serious and reflective. It's a wonderful story and I am happy that I had a chance to read it. 

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