Book Reviews

The Legend of the Mountain Ash by Ruth Sims at Untreed Reads

Genre Gay / Historical / Warriors/Soldiers / Romance
Reviewed by Alan Chin (Guest Reviewer) on 10-June-2011

Book Blurb

Ethan is a Doughboy wounded in the battle for Belleau Wood. Davy is a reviled British conscientious objector serving in a military hospital. Two young men drawn to each other in the midst of the horrors of the Great War. Neither has a family, for the soldier's has all died and the CO's has cast him off in disgust for refusing to take up arms.

The bond of love that grows between Ethan and Davy takes them to Ethan's beautiful Appalachian hills, where they build a home and make a life. It is there they find that their love is strong enough to conquer everything, even time and death.

Book Review

This poignant story starts with these two sentences: "There are places in this world where magic and miracles meet, and when they do a legend is born. This is the story of one such legend, and how it came to be."

This simple yet beautiful opening blossoms into a tale of how Ethan and Davey meet in an army hospital during World War II, after Ethan was brought there courtesy of a German bayonet. It then describes a growing love as the British lad, Davey, nurses the American solider back to health, a love as tender as a young shoot, but with roots growing deeply in fertile soil.

Davey follows his lover to America and they settle in a farming community, but bigotry from the townsfolk forces them to move on. They search for a place where they can live, free to express their love openly, so as to let it grow strong, and toughen into something that neither people nor time can destroy. In the Appalachian hills, they find such a place, a place where magic and miracles meet. The Legend of the Mountain Ash is, as so many legends are, a story of love and loss, sacrifice and redemption.

Sometimes the simplest stories are the most powerful. Such is the case with this tale, and under Ruth Sims’s skillful hand, this story also blends beauty and grace with that power, and she adds a dash of fanciful magic to create an inner journey for the reader, a passage that leads to a bittersweet joy. As the lovers scratch out a life for themselves in this backwoods paradise (a reflection of their love), stone by stone, stick by stick, crop by crop, they also build a structure within the heart and mind of the reader.

The characters will pull at your heartstrings. The enchanting prose will tickle your whimsical soul. The ending, although somewhat predictable, will charm and sadden and uplift. This is one of those rare stories that is felt. And long after you put it down, you will continue to feel it, because it will awaken something in you, at least it did for me. I can highly recommend this story to all readers.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 14 pages/6500 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-March-2011
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link