Justin Davis was going places and going to make his parents proud. The star high school football player was on the fast track to the pros with colleges tripping over themselves to sign this rising star. But he blew it all in just one night when the temptation to explore his sexuality went horribly wrong. Twelve years later, Justin is just a shell of the person he once was. Drugs and alcohol have destroyed his mind and body.
Then a miracle happens. How else can Justin explain what happened when he decided it was time for him to clean himself up and live the life he’s been given? Heading off to the one place where his disgrace all began, Justin starts out trying to make amends to himself and his family….yet, he has to come clean to himself about who he really is.
As he sets out on his new path in life, Justin finds that he can finally admit who he really is – a homosexual male. It isn’t an easy path, considering it’s 1988. As Justin learns to live again, the people around him know the greatness he is capable of and Justin finds himself persevering against all odds to make a glorious comeback that will lead him back into the sports arena to recapture past glories….except maybe his destiny isn’t what he envisioned after all. When circumstances beyond his control rise up against him just as he is set to take his place on the field, Justin has to make a choice as to whether to follow the dream he’s always had or to believe that maybe there is another path that is his to follow.
I was in awe reading this book as it wasn’t your typical historical novel since it is set in a time that isn’t that far numerically from our own, except it was like stepping back in the past to a time (quite recently) where homosexuality was deeply hidden in closets, especially in small southern towns. It was a time of HIV/AIDS where the disease was blatantly seen as a “gay” man’s disease and garnered little sympathy from the American public. It was a time where being outed as a gay man could ruin a man’s sports career. It is in this unforgiving world that this story is set.
This story also wasn’t your typical romance book. While there is a romance that brews within the storyline, it isn’t the main theme of the story. In fact, if I was to classify what kind of book this is, I probably would say it was more of a story of one’s man’s journey through life and the people he meets, about how these people impacted Justin’s life and how Justin impacted their lives. Each of these characters is laid out for readers – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Spirituality/religion plays a major role in this story but it isn’t “preachy.” Justin, who grew up in a Christian household, experiences what he thinks of as a miracle, and wonders why he was given such a gift. It is such a wonderfully crafted story that whether one believes in fate and destiny or whether they believe that God makes everything happen for a reason, readers will walk away after reading this with a feeling of hope.
Overall, I absolutely loved this story because it was so inspirational. I highly recommend!