Book Review: Homespun by Layla M. Wier

Posted: September 22, 2013 by sidlove in 4 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Taylor's Reviews
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Reviewed by Jenn Taylor

HomespunTITLE: Homespun
AUTHOR: Layla M. Wier
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 104 pages/27,205 words
BLURB: For twenty years, Owen Fortescue, a down-to-earth farmer in upstate New York, has had an on-again, off-again relationship with volatile New York City artist Kerry Ruehling. Now that same-sex marriage is recognized in New York, Owen wants to tie the knot. But Kerry responds to the proposal with instant, angry withdrawal. Owen resolves to prove to Kerry that, regardless of the way his family of origin has treated him, family ties don’t necessarily tie a man down. With help from his grown daughter, Laura, who loves them both, Owen hopes to convince Kerry that his marriage proposal isn’t a trap, but a chance at real love.

REVIEW:

This is a book that took me by surprise in the best ways possible.  Struggling NYC artist Kerry Ruehling has been wandering from the big city to the smaller scale farm every year for the past twenty years.  He finds himself always leaving the big city, the crowds of people, his friends, etc. to return to Owen Fortescue and Owen’s daughter, Laura.  Owen and Kerry are opposites in so many ways, but they keep holding out for each other.  Owen proposes to Kerry on his most recent visit surprising everyone, and how Kerry reacts affects them all.  This is a book about what people want in relationships, what people want for their own lives, and what makes a family.

What I loved about this book encompasses so many things.  I loved discovering a new author that can surprise me.  I loved that this book has two older main characters.  One was on the verge of turning 42 and the other 55.  I loved that these two characters were opposites and had been in a long-term relationship.  I loved how the author incorporated different items into the book as symbolism.  But what I loved most about this book is what she had to say about relationships and how there is no one right way to define one.  What works for someone in one relationship will likely not work in their next – and that’s OK.  As long as both parties accept the terms, it can work out.  I adored what she presented and I appreciated how much she made me think in such a few amount of pages.

I bookmarked so many parts in this novella.  How the sheep’s wool represented the fine threads of Laura, Owen, and Kerry’s family.  How Owen worked on wood because he liked to fix things and make it better, newer, and Kerry thought throughout the years, is this what you want to do to me? How Owen and Laura had a wife and a mother that they could appreciate and love even in her passing, but that Kerry always felt he had to live up to in his own mind. How even in a bustling city where Kerry felt he belonged with brightness and noise, he fell in love with those peaceful, cold winters with Owen.  How Kerry bucked the idea of traditionalism and his solid love with his acquired family because the overarching idea of it conflicted with what he had experienced in his past with family and growing up in the 70s and 80s.  How Kerry always tried to be noticeable in appearance and in his art, because he refused to be hidden based on his values and desires.  How both Kerry and Owen knew that where their physical home was, wasn’t where the other would most desire to be, but still knew in their bones that the idea of ‘home’ meant more than a location. How every person needs to break sometimes, with those that they trust and love most.

I think Owen also saw exactly who and what Kerry was throughout the years.  “Like a butterfly, beautiful and wild and fragile, something so delicate that can only be held with open hands.”  Kerry feels trapped.  In his city, in his location, with his friends, and even where his place is in his most important relationships.  Owen has been conflicted.  Holding onto a man he knows loves him, but a man he won’t chase down because he’s scared a too hard push will have Kerry fleeing for good.  Kerry has wanderlust, as a great friend stated, but he’s also very insecure with where he is in life, and what he can offer anyone.  Owen sees all of this, but knows after 15 plus years, that no matter what Kerry thinks of himself, Owen knows the real man underneath all those layers.

I do think the story could have benefited from a bit more explanation.  While I thought Laura overall was a strong, admirable character, at times I felt her jealousy came across strange.  I also would have liked to experienced Owen and Kerry starting out and the many years that followed.  What the reader gets is such a small part in their lives, and I felt something or many things were missing.

Still, overall, this is a poignant, easy read with very likeable characters and thought-provoking ideas on people.

Taylor rates it – four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ::  All Romance eBooks  ::  Amazon

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Jenn Taylor is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: TAYLOR’S REVIEWS
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Comments
  1. […] Sid Love, Homespun got four stars: “… took me by surprise in the best ways possible.” The Book Vixen gives it four […]

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