Narrator: Alexander Doddy
Length: 2 hours, 51 minutes
Edwin Tully is still getting over his breakup two years ago to longtime boyfriend Marius. He lives a quiet life alone in the house they used to share and keeps mostly to himself and his friendship with his elderly neighbor. When the rains begin to come, Edwin’s neighborhood is in danger of flooding and members of the Environment Agency come to help people through the crisis. As they are waiting for the floodwaters to rise, Edwin befriends engineer Adam Dacre. Edwin finds himself comfortable with Adam in a way he is with few people, and the two begin to develop a friendship as the days pass dealing with the rain.
Edwin did not ever think he would find love and happiness again after Marius, but Adam is so good and kind and helps Edwin find some joy in life again. It is still hard to Edwin to believe Adam could want him, as his confidence was shattered after Marius left. But as the men deal with the natural disaster, they also begin to find their way to each other, and if Edwin can trust in Adam and his feelings, he may have a chance to find love again.
Waiting for the Flood is a quiet story that focuses on Edwin and his personal journey. As we meet him, it is clear that this is a man who is still engulfed in his depression and sense of loss from the end of his relationship. Everything reminds him Marius and he can’t move past the hurt than comes from knowing the man he thought he would be with forever just fell out of love with him. The story brings us Edwin’s slow blossoming from sad and afraid to open himself up, to someone who is willing to take a chance. He grows to care for Adam and he knows he must take that leap or lose him, and we see Edwin grow to the point where accepting Adam’s love is possible.
I will admit that I had a hard time connecting with Edwin. It has been two years but Edwin is still totally devastated and mired in the memories of the life that he lost. He also seems to have a lot of social anxieties and major self esteem issues. I was never quite sure whether this all occurred as a result of Marius leaving, or if this has always been his personality. But I found his constant focus on Marius to be kind of wearying. We learn so little about this relationship, and it is revealed fairly slowly (I felt like the blurb gives much more of a feel for their relationship than the book itself), so I had trouble really grasping just what it is that Edwin has lost that is throwing him into such a spiral. After a while, I found myself tired of hearing Marius’ name over and over, and by the time the book is ending and the guys are sexually intimate for the first time, and Edwin STILL has a flash of thought about Marius, I was over it. Again, it has been two years, and it seems like it has been days. I couldn’t help thinking that this is a guy who seems to need some major therapy and not so sure that a boyfriend was the sudden cure to his situation.
The writing style here is very poetic with beautiful imagery and a great sense of Edwin’s emotions. I think for some people this will totally work, but for me it felt somewhat dreary at times, at least the parts with Edwin on his own. When he and Adam interact, the story gets much more life and I really liked these guys together. Adam is strong and confident, but also sweet and caring. He accepts and appreciates Edwin for exactly who he is. Their friendship builds sweetly and I was rooting for them (in fact, I would have liked much more of them together). I did feel that their few short conversations and one evening together having dinner didn’t seem like quite enough to bring about Edwin’s transformation and I would have liked to see things develop over more than a few days. But I really liked the two of them and found Adam injects a lot of life into the story.
As I said, this is mostly Edwin’s journey, so we learn next to nothing about Adam. I wish he was more fleshed out, more of a solid MC and existing more on his own and not just in relation to Edwin. But I get that this isn’t that type of story, and while there is romance here, the focus is primarily on Edwin.
As I think about this book, I wonder whether I might have enjoyed it more in written form. Alexander Doddy definitely does a solid narration here and embodies the characters well. And probably his style is a good match for the book, as he captures Edwin’s tone well. But Doddy gives a very dramatic performance; at times it almost feels like Edwin is performing on a stage as we get his internal dialog. The conversations he has work well, but as soon as we are in Edwin’s head I found things kind of over-the-top and very “performed.” It made Edwin feel less relatable to me and much less of a real 30-year-old guy, if that makes sense. Again, I think that people who enjoy the tone of the story may find this a very good match in narration, but I think in my case the issues I had with Edwin were exacerbated by the narration rather than helped.
In the end I found this one to have a lot of nice elements that I really enjoyed, and I appreciated the story being told. But I also don’t think that I was able to quite connect enough with Edwin to be fully engaged on his journey.