A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: Two men seek to put their past behind them and fin a future together despite the odds.
Blurb: “I’ll do anything.”
Staff Sergeant Jasper “Ace” Atchison takes one look at Private Sonny Daye and knows that every word on paper about him is pure, unadulterated bullshit. But Sonny is desperate, and although Ace isn’t going to take him up on his offer of “anything,” that doesn’t mean he isn’t tempted.
Instead, Ace takes Sonny under his wing, protecting him when they’re in the service and making plans with him when they get out. Together, they’re going to own a garage and build race cars and make their fortune hurtling faster than light across the desert. Together, they’re going to rewrite the past, make Sonny Daye a whole and happy person, and put the ghosts in Ace’s heart to rest.
But not even Sonny can build a car fast enough to escape the ghosts of the past. When Sonny’s ghosts drive them down and run their plans off the road, Ace finds out exactly what he’s made of. Maybe Sonny was the one to promise Ace anything, but there is nothing under the sun Ace won’t do to keep Sonny safe from harm.
“When I was a kid, my mom used to say we were waiting for a sunny day…I figured, if I saw a way out of…of a bad spot, I’d be that Sonny Daye.”
Sonny Daye is an extraordinarily broken man. He clings with angry, clenched fists to the very little he feels he deserves and all the while curses himself for wanting it. His abuse follows him, precedes him, surrounds him, and haunts him. And yet…when Ace is there…the capricious idea of being safe, of having a home, of being loved dangles itself before Sonny and dares him to grab on tight and make it his own.
The blurb above is a good set-up. If I were tech savvy, I might try to use the “spoiler” button and say a bit more about the plot. But, alas, not only am I technically incompetent, I might have a wee bit of a mean streak and say, you really need to read this one for yourself. Part of the pleasure of this story is the journey its author invites us to take, the one where we discover how beautifully layered the characters are, and their wrenching but hopeful story.
Yes, there is angst, but while not being a fan of angst myself, I must sat that this story gripped me and kept me moving. I never felt that there wasn’t going to be a resolution–a good resolution. Note, I did not say happy ending. With all that these ex-military men go through, happy does not really fit as a way to describe how they end up at the close of this chapter in their lives.
However, to watch these two, Ace and Sonny, mesh their lives together and find what is, in essence, their future in each other’s arms–well that is rather stunning to read.
Amy Lane is a consummate story teller, of this, there is no doubt. In Racing The Sun, she takes what can only be described as two drifters fated to never be more than barely scraping by financially, and sketches a picture of the many roads their lives could take. And, while she seems to offer options, you quickly realize that there is no way for these two men to move forward without first burying their past.
“Let’s live like the past is dead and all we got is the future.”
This is really the crux of what Sonny wants and needs from Ace. Not the garage and home he so desperately feels the need to provide for Sonny, but the belief that they can indeed live without their past being the third person in the room. Once you read this novel, you will understand what weight this line carries in the novel. And let me tell you, by this time I was cheering them on–wanting them to get in that car and drive off to a future where they could finally breathe and love just a bit easier.
What I really liked about this novel is the lack of a clad-tight, simple, happy ending. With the way these two characters were developed, it would have not only been unreal for them to skip off into the sunlight, it would have been a disservice to all they had been through, dealt with, and yes, accomplished. As you read about the secret places that held a person like Sonny and Ace, you realize how much the human spirit can endure and still rise to meet each day.
In the midst of turmoil, there is humor. In the midst of darkness, there is light. And, most importantly, in the midst of the worst that humanity can do to a person, there is redemptive love. That is Racing The Sun , in a nutshell.
I highly recommend this novel to you, dear reader. I will go as far to say that Racing The Sun by Amy Lane proves to a broken world that endurance is key and love is there for the taking–no matter how broken you may be.