Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Gavin Perez is twenty-three, lives with his mother, and works at the Dollar Mart as a stock boy, but he is happy with his life. He lives in the small town of Stratton, Pennsylvania where everybody knows everybody, or at least, everybody knows of everybody. When Gavin runs into Jace at the community Thanksgiving dinner, literally, spilling cranberry relish all over the younger, handsome man, Gavin finds himself enamored. The boy that Jace was has filled out into a beautiful young man and Gavin can’t help but want him.
Jace Ramsey is nineteen-years old and gay. But he isn’t out to his family. He isn’t out to anyone. But something about Gavin intrigues Jace, and he wants to get know the other man. A brief night with Gavin on his Thanksgiving break is life-altering, but when Jace goes back to school, reality hits him where it hurts. Holding on to secrets to keep the people he cares about happy and worry free begins to weigh on Jace. And he feels he has nowhere to turn.
The only person he wants to turn to is Gavin, the one person he turned his back on when he left at Thanksgiving. But now he’s home for Christmas break away from school, away from his fears, and holding his secrets close to his vest. When Jace runs into Gavin at a Christmas party, the two reconnect on a level Jace was afraid was lost. Spending time with Gavin negates all of the bad, all of the fears in his life, at least when they’re together. As Gavin and Jace spend more time together, Jace fears are added to as he worries about coming out to his family.
Jace’s secrets weigh him down and make him physically ill. As much as he trusts Gavin with everything else, the fear of Gavin turning his back on Jace after learning the truth is the worst thing Jace could think of. But as the secrets eat away at him, Jace has to learn to trust someone with his secrets before it pushes away everyone that he cares about it.
If I were to ever drive through Statton, PA, I would probably be somewhat disappointed. Through the books in A.M. Arthur’s Cost of Repairs series, I have built this small town up in my head. I would love to live there and see my favorite characters live out their lives in the Mayberry of Pennsylvania. Okay, maybe not quite Mayberry…but close. Arthur portrays a beautiful town with beautiful people and their beautiful stories. I’m besotted by it all.
In Weight of Silence, Arthur finally answers my questions about the Laundromat fire. And I love it. But that’s not all. She creates a story that is sweet and emotional and angsty. It’s a coming of age story, a coming out story, and a story of finding one’s self. It is definitely a rollercoaster ride, but worth every hill and valley. There are tough subjects that come up in this book – rape, domestic abuse, child abuse. They make this story real and bittersweet. Just a trigger warning that while there is no on-page rape scene, there is a struggle shown.
These characters are my favorite part of this book. Both Gavin and Jace are young men dealing with grown men’s problems. They have been forced to grow up a little too fast and face problems that most men don’t have to ever handle. This author’s characterization ability is fabulous. I was engrossed in Gavin and Jace from scene one and now I only want more of them. The way she delves into their personalities, into their minds is amazing. When I was reading Gavin’s point of view, I could feel his restlessness and hyperactivity at times. I also felt his calm and concern when it came to Jace. With Jace, I felt his stress and his fear. I also felt his patience and caring for Gavin and for his family. These young men are beautifully written and I hope to see them in the future, if only to find out where their final choices in this book lead.
My only very small quibble is with the way the aftermath of the rape is handled. [spoiler] I wanted more of a consequence for the scumbag rapist. In my head I keep thinking if he did it once, he’ll do it again. And I hate that thought. I wanted that situation to be tied up in a neat little bow. But as I’ve learned in this series, it’s possible that it will be tied up in future installment of the series[/spoiler].
I absolutely adore Weight of Silence. The characters are among my favorites. The storyline is engaging. And the setting is perfect. There’s not much more I could ask of this series. I am a huge fan of A.M. Arthur. I only started reading her books this year, but she has become one of my must reads rather quickly. I look forward to what Arthur has in store for her readers in the future. I highly recommend Weight of Silence by A.M. Arthur.