Most always, I open a book knowing what is ahead for me. Every now and then, I will open a book and be taken completely by surprise. Rarely does one take me in a direction I did not anticipate. Favorite Son, by Will Freshwater, has done just that. The blurb certainly tells the gist of the story but in no way does it prepare you for what you will find. This is a story of two men who have lost quite a bit. But through loss and misfortune they find each other and try to salvage what they both felt had passed them by.
John Wells is a yes man. He is the Chief of Staff to a US Senator who has aspirations of running for President. He’s also best friends with the Senator’s daughter. Melody is John’s best friend and also his assistant. She usually knows what he needs before he does and taking the initiative she usually is one step ahead. John is also married to David but his marriage is falling apart. He’s never home because the job takes all his time and concern. Finding out his relationship is much worse than he thought should not have surprised him. What does surprise him, however, is when everyone and everything he thought he knew, made it a point to know, fails him in every way. In one day, devastating news of every kind causes him to walk away from it all.
John is a man who has lost everything. He never had nor took the time to enjoy something as trivial as smelling the fresh air. Now, changing his name to Peter, for his own reasons, he has nothing but time. Landing in Provincetown, making new friends, and learning to just love life, he is finally finding himself again.
He’s also finding a real friend in Danny Cavanaugh, a carpenter, refurbishing an old church. Danny swears he is not gay even though some of his signals leave you questioning his sincerity of that statement. Peter starts helping Danny with some of the work at the church and over the weeks together, they start to form a real friendship. The townspeople have adapted well to their new transplant and make him feel like he has a home. Peter really likes the new friends he has made and getting everyone together for a meal or a drink is something he never had before.
He’s been more or less hiding out in Provincetown for 6 months now. He still hasn’t come completely clean about his life back in DC. He really wants more with Danny, and when that seems to be something that may be possible, his old life resurfaces to drag him back. Now, faced with going back and maybe reclaiming his old life and everything that was taken from him, or stay with Danny, and the life he was really starting to love. And, if he does go, will Danny wait for him to come back or will he skip out as well?
This story has a lot of depth and character development. The plot and execution was very well done. Will Freshwater has written a story that you will become invested in. You can sink your teeth into and get carried away from the intensity of the plot and characters. The side characters are quite valuable and add strength to the storyline. I really enjoyed this story and it kept my interest from start to finish.
I always feel somewhat surprised when a story does not contain sex but still provides me with a lot of enjoyment and humour. I don’t know what that says about me but I do enjoy the sex scenes when they are tastefully done and move the story along. There is very little contact other than kissing between the characters. Any sex they may have had was off page. The author never included any dialogue that confirmed one way or the other that sex was happening. I just assumed that it was since they were sharing the same bed.
This was the first novel by Will and personally, I think it was incredible. There is a lot of political jargon which normally would not hold my attention but he kept it interesting and refreshing. He made me believe in the story and fall in love with the characters. That is really what I want to achieve with any story and Favorite Son accomplished that and more.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants a story that shows real friendship and love. That living the fast-paced lifestyle, devoted solely to your job, is not what life is about. Having friends, a real support system, someone to watch your back, those are the things that are important. That’s what you will get with this story. This is a real love story that is developed with time and patience. It was a very gratifying read and I will be watching for more titles by Will Freshwater.