Book Reviews

The Telling (The Telling 1) by Eden Winters at Rocky Ridge Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 29-July-2013

Book Blurb

Time in Iraq cost Michael Ritter some of his hearing and a friend whose death he feels responsible for. He'd left Alabama hoping to escape a dull, small-town life, only to return four years later, lugging a duffle full of personal demons.

Cookesville, Alabama isn’t the most welcoming place on earth, particularly for a gay, Hispanic student wanting nothing more than to earn his degree and get back home to Texas. An image of a somber young man that he knows only by name and the stories told by an adoring sister comes to life when Michael returns home, just as Jay is already half-way to losing his heart.

Michael’s biggest battle lies ahead, and he’ll need all the help he can get to find his way in a world where he no longer fits in. Jay’s not sure where he fits either, but it could be next to the war-torn soldier who needs his strength.



NOTE: This book was previously published in 2009.


Book Review

This is the first book by Eden Winters that I have read. It was a recommendation from a friend and the blurb interested me. I spent my teenage years growing up in the Deep South and I understand the mindset that these characters would have to deal with. It brought a level of empathy to my interpretation of the story and increased my enjoyment level.

Michael has just come home after four years in the Army serving his country. He's been discharged due to permanent hearing loss in one ear after a skirmish in Iraq. He has some post traumatic stress issues with nightmares and flashbacks and Michael is just trying to figure out his place in the world. He's only recently admitted to himself that he's gay and he knows his small, backwoods Alabama town is not the place to live if he ever wants to be able to be out and proud.

Jay is a roommate and best friend of Michael's sister and he's been in love with Michael for four years, ever since he found a picture of him and the photo became Jay's comfort and confessional. He's Hispanic and gay - two things that aren't looked at very well in this part of Alabama. But he has a full scholarship to the college and he's studying engineering because Jay wants out from small-town, small-minded people and he's willing to work hard to get there.

I really enjoyed watching these two men fall in love and overcome the daunting negativity that could have destroyed them. Michael had several things going for him, though, of which an amazing mom, older sister, and grandparents were three. His mom raised her children to be compassionate, honest, fair, non-judgmental, and accepting of all peoples. An unusual attitude for a woman born and raised in the South, but she learned that from her own parents. I fell for Michael's grandpa because it was one of the sweetest coming out stories I've read.

Jay and Michael are characters who really strengthen each other and that was so positive and loving to watch. Their love story was realistic without being incredibly heavy with angst and drama. This story of love, loss and hope is a good one.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 63000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-June-2013
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link