Gone by the Board by August Li #mm #review @dreamspinners

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The sea is full of jealously guarded secrets, but everything washes up eventually….

Betrayed by a trusted partner, Nathan figures he might as well be lost and heartbroken in the sunshine, and he heads to the coast of South Carolina, to stay with a friend and find a new direction for his life. But despite his efforts, he is lost in the fog, unable to find a guiding light and sometimes unable to find a reason to go on. His only respite from depression and anxiety is the soothing rhythm of the tides and the comfort he draws from proximity to the water.

When the sea sends a lifeline in the form of a strange and beautiful man, it’s easy for Nathan to ignore all the things that don’t add up about his new friend. But the tides can turn without notice, and it’s those mystical traits that will either finally lead Nathan safely to shore or drown him in confusion and despair.addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14rachelle-tag

Gone By The Board was a nice surprise. Going by the blurb, I expected Nathan’s depression to be a battle, but it wasn’t, not in the way I expected. I’m not making sense. Nathan lost a 15 year relationship when his husband cheated on him. He struggles to overcome that shared history as well as the betrayal of someone who he thought would be with him for the rest of his life, I completely understood his fight. The moments when that history snuck up on him, how he pulled up the good that came from the split to remind himself that he could do things without Brian, how hard it was to let go of the hurt and pretending that everything was okay, and pretending not to be miserable—all of it I found completely relatable. All of his inner dialogue gave evidence to how Brian stole away Nathan’s confidence in himself and I wanted to rail at Brian for him. And the feeling lost… yes. I so so so got that. The way the water made Nathan feel, just yes.

I found the lore of the in-between people just beautiful. I don’t think that I’ll look at the ocean again without imagining what the waves hold. I was heartbroken for Brume but his fascination with Nathan gave me hope. I had to keep myself from speeding through because I wanted these two lost souls to find each other and not miss the opportunity they were given. Clever title, by the way.

I guess you could say this book really spoke to me. It was beautifully written and a balm to my soul. It will definitely be one that I will reread.

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