Eddie Rodrigues is on the move once again. He only knows a nomadic existence where everything he owns he can carry on his back and it’s time to head south for the winter. Eddie has a long way to go from his current midwest location and not much money in his pocket. He’s on foot to the bus station when he sees a girl get hit by a car and the car just keeps going.
Grayson Croft keeps to himself–maybe too much. When the car accident takes place near his large, mostly empty house, the local cop, who is a former high school friend, asks Grayson to let Eddie spend the night. It only takes a moment for Grayson to enjoy having another person in his house, especially Eddie, whose mysteries Grayson wants to unravel.
The first mystery is that Eddie is a glass artist and his creations, as well as Eddie himself, fit in perfectly at Grayson’s Christmas shop. But Grayson is closed off and Eddie has never had a reason to stay put. But together, they may be able to create the family they both need.
Glass Tidings is a small town Christmas story featuring two lonely men. I have read many of Amy Jo Cousins’ books and had zero hesitation in picking this one up as well. While I still appreciate this author’s voice, I could not gel with this story from the initial set-up, to the development of the story, to the characters themselves.
Eddie opens the book and his sharp inner dialogue is what I have enjoyed and have come to expect from this author. He then witnesses an accident and is asked to stick around to give his statement to the police as he is the sole witness. So this is a small town, but I could not get around the police asking a resident to allow a complete stranger, who is covered in someone’s blood, to spend the night in their home.
Grayson keeps to himself. We are offered glimpses that he was involved with someone else, but it’s not clear for a long time as to what his story is. We are also shown that he’s stuck. His home is filled with reminders of his family and his shop still bears the name his grandmother, the former owner, gave it. Eddie is in his house for mere hours before Grayson is asking him to stick around longer.
The story is a slow build and was just too slow for me. Both Grayson and Eddie were also flat and bland for me. Grayson is just overly polite and has no bite to him, and for as intriguing as Eddie started out, his spark never developed for me. There were times his story would start to ramp up, but both guys were so closed off. They barely spoke to each other and, while I got what the story was trying to do, it didn’t come across clearly to me as to why either man wanted the other to stick around other than convenience. It was simply a case where we are told that both men are attracted to each other, but I didn’t see it or feel it coming off the page. The men simply fall into a routine with Eddie working at Grayson’s shop and Grayson easily adjusting to having a stranger living in his home.
There wasn’t a lot to hold my interest with this one and that was completely unexpected. I am used to dynamic characters from this author that have an intriguing spark, but this one didn’t work out that well for me. The book is set over the Christmas holidays, but also works as just a small town winter tale that may offer more warmth for you if you’re inclined to give it a try.
*Twenty percent of the proceeds from Glass Tidings will be donated to The Trevor Project*