Bluewater Blues, A Bluewater Bay Novel, G.B. Gordon
Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA
I love this Bluewater series, books by different authors that are loosely connected by the town. The different writing styles keeps it fresh and intersting even though there are now so many books.
There’s a TV series being shot here so the town is full of all sorts of people connected with that, plus of course the usual inhabitants. It makes for somewhere a bit different and allows the stories to feel real, when the usual small town wouldn’t have anywhere near so many interesting characters.
One of the shops benefitting from the population of visitors, actors and those connected with filming is Jack Daley’s Your Daley Bread. Jack lives above the shop with his sister Margaret. Margaret is autistic, and when the two meet Mark, who is also autistic, we see how well the author has researched this condition.
Too many times people use Autism as some kind of sympathy pap, to get the reader to feel sorry for them or the carers, and the characters just don’t feel right. Here though Margaret and Mark are both autistic their issues are mostly very different. there are common threads of course, but as with most conditions there’s a huge variety and some people have problems that mean their daily loves are a struggle while others can sail through, despite sharing a diagnosis.
Sometimes I feel the older I get the more I think “normal” is just an overused term and we all have issues, some more so that others.
We’ve Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADD in our family, and though I’ve never thought I had any problems as I’ve got older I can see that where I just thought I was a bit out of step with others, didn’t quite follow their ways, that actually many of my issues are on that spectrum. How many of us are somewhere along that line without realising it. I’ve a friend diagnosed with Asperger’s when in their 40’s, another with dyscalculia at the same age…Normal is an overused term I reckon.
I love Jack, he reminds me so much of one of my favourite book characters in this genre, also called Jack, from the wonderful Whistling in the Dark. That’s one I’ve read several times and still love all the characters. The guy on the cover of this book is just how I imagine him in my head!!
Jack’s hiding a secret, and that means he’s always on the alert, always ready to protect his beloved sister, and just can’t allow anyone into his life so when he meets Mark and its clear the attraction is mutual he thinks he can allow himself a quick no-strings fling, but nothing more.
Mark has other ideas though, he really likes Jack, he treats him as though he understands him, lets his quirks just flow past instead of getting irritated as others do. To be fair to them often they just don’t know why he’s acting oddly, think he’s just being difficult as he hasn’t told anyone of his autism. He knows he’ll get treated differently, doesn’t want sympathy, just wants to be allowed to do his job properly, he’s found something he enjoys, that he’s good at and just wants to be left to do it. He recognises in Margaret things that he feels, and they seem to share a special link when they met.
Margaret is lovely, she knows Mark if what Jack needs, and does so much to encourage them to be together, To her its simple, Mark makes Jack smile, makes him happy so they should be together.
Then the past rears its ugly head, and the secrets have to come out. I’d guessed a bit but not the whole thing. Margaret is portrayed so fantastically here, I really felt I understood her, understood her reactions and could see why Jack had behaved as he did. What a great relationship those two have, and understanding Margaret is what makes Mark so easy to get along with for Jack.
I was desperate for the two to find a way forward but for a time it looked so impossible and I couldn’t see how it could come about.
A great story, sensitively handled and one I’ll reread.
Stars:Five, a fabulous read, one that has enough depth to make it a keeper/re-reader
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher