Rating: 5 of 5, TMBOA Recommended
Author: Edward C. Patterson
Available: Paperback, Kindle
Every Christmas, Martin Powers found love. Unfortunately, it rarely lasted beyond New Years day. That is, until he met Matthew Kieler – a southern transplant, complete with cowboy hat, drawl, and enchanting blue eyes. Theirs was a love that transcended the moment and as time marched on, their love grew deeper and deeper and Martin realized he’d found the love he’d always longed for. But just when everything seemed it couldn’t be any better, their world was turned upside down as both come face to face with the specter of AIDS.
Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson is a beautifully written novel. Honestly, I’m not sure I can write a review that will do it justice. As in all of Patterson’s novels, his characters are incredibly well developed. In Silence the reader is taken on a journey of Martin and Matthew’s romance, from their “meet cute” first encounter in the department store, to the tragedy that befalls them during a family Thanksgiving dinner. Patterson lovingly describes the very real and conflicting emotions of commitment, hardship, anger, anguish, and love one must manage while watching the person they love slowly die in before their very eyes.
Holding out hope for a cure all the while intellectually knowing it unlikely torments the soul and anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, especially one stricken by a chronic disease or cancer that robs them slowly of their former self, experiences the very heartache that this book so eloquently conveys. I remember the 1980s when AIDS was very much a part of everyday discussions and life, but honestly this has not gotten nearly the press it once had and Patterson’s book is a great reminder of a tragic disease that is still in need of a cure. However, Patterson does not play to politics or get preachy in any way. This is really a story of Martin and Matthew, of love, of tragedy, of commitment, and of hope. Few books can touch such a strong emotional chord and I would put Look Away Silence up there with books by Nicholas Sparks such as The Notebook.
Well done Mr. Patterson, well done indeed.