Title: The Preacher’s Son
Author: Lisa Henry & J.A.Rock
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Page Count: 272 pages
Reviewed by: Ana
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jason Banning is a wreck. His leg’s been blown to hell in Afghanistan, his boyfriend just left him and took the dog, and now he’s back in his hometown of Pinehurst, Washington, a place that holds nothing but wretched memories…and Nathan Tull. Nathan Tull, whose life Jason ruined. Nathan Tull, who will never believe Jason did what he did for a greater good. Nathan Tull, whose reverend father runs a gay conversion therapy camp that Jason once sought to bring down—at any cost.
Nathan Tull is trying to live a quiet life. Four years ago, when Nate was a prospective student visiting UW Tacoma, his world collapsed when senior Jason Bannon slept with him, filmed it, and put the footage online. A painful public outing and a crisis of faith later, Nate has finally begun to heal. Cured of the “phantoms” that plagued him for years, he now has a girlfriend, a counselor job at his dad’s camp, and the constant, loving support of his father.
But when he learns Jason is back in town, his carefully constructed identity begins to crumble. As desperate to reconcile his love for God with his attraction to men as Jason is to make sense of the damage he’s done, Nate finds himself walking a dangerous line. On one side lies the righteous life he committed himself to in the wake of his public humiliation. On the other is the sin he committed with Jason Banning, and the phantoms that won’t let him be. But is there a path that can bridge those two worlds—where his faith and his identity as a gay man aren’t mutually exclusive?
And can he walk that path with the man who betrayed him?
This was a really hard book to read because of its heavy emotional burden. I loved it, but I have to clarify that I love books with a lot of angst as this one was. It had an important religious subject that some readers might not feel comfortable with, and even I struggle a little trying to decide if I really wanted to read it. That being said, the book is great, very insightful and I’m glad I decided to read it.
The characters were so amazing. I loved all of them. I was particularly fond on Nate, but I couldn’t find a character that I didn’t liked, which was a little surprising because, considering some of the subject being handle, I was expecting some villains I could easily dislike. I found the opposite, a lot of understanding, compassion and love. I liked Jason too, he was a good character, he had a lot of flaws, so much regrets and still a lot of strength on him. I loved the kids too, all of them, but Isaac was a particularly sweet and so easy to be love.
Nate and Jason’s relationship was very interesting. The internal struggles were impressive, so insightful in both of them, there was so much pain and, mostly in Nate’s case, so much hope. It was something amazing to read. I care for them as a couple as much as I care for them as individuals, they were both beautiful characters. I don’t think the most important subject being address by the book was their relationship, but it did made it a happier and more hopeful read. The moments they shared, the happy ones, those were fantastic.
I loved the book. It was truly a great choice to read it for me, but it is very emotional and there’s a lot of angst on it. So, I would recommend to any reader to consider if this is the kind of book they are looking for, and if it is, then go ahead it is a great book.