In Back Where He Started, Chris Thayer finds himself packing up the last pieces of a quietly extraordinary life. After twenty-three years of marriage to Zack Ronan - and after raising the widower's three kids - Chris finds himself facing an uncertain second act. Seeking refuge in North Carolina's Outer Banks, Chris has to come to terms with his own empty nest and challenge himself to move forward with a new relationship. This is a subtle depiction of the meaning of family and motherhood, and of the search for your true soul.
Jay Quinn's Lambda-nominated novels transcend traditional gay fiction, exploring universal issues of marriage, aging parents, addiction, and attraction, all while presenting unique characters and a pause-resisting drama.
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Wonderful story and excellent performance
This was a one day listen for me. This is a wonderful story of Chris, a 48 year old man trying to recover his life after his husband of 22 years leaves him for a younger woman. Zach, the ex, is truly a jerk, and freely admits that he "gave" Chris his three children when he brought Chris home after his first wife committed suicide. The saving grace is Chris' adopted children are really wonderful. They all consider Chris their "mom" and love him unconditionally, although the mom thing gets annoying at a point.
This is the story of one man's journey of self discovery; is he just someone's mom? Can he find love again? I really enjoyed going along with Chris has he starts his 3rd act in life. I really identified with him in his search to break out of the box he (and his ex) created for himself. His love interest is really a hoot and very non traditional, but I can't say anymore about that without spoilers. There is very little external drama in this story, which I usually don't like.. However, the writing and storytelling from Chris' POV is so good, I was engaged from beginning to end. I loved the HEA, but also love to read a sequel. The narrator does an excellent job bringing the various characters to life.
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Touching story of mid-life changes
This book is much better written than most in the MM genre. The main characters are convincingly male and gay, which in itself is unusual. The first half is about a break-up and is heartbreaking. The second half, or perhaps third, is about a man who is pushing fifty finding new love and a new life. The age and life-stage of the MC is also very unusual and a refreshing change from the all the books about guys in their 20s. It brings a realism and a heft to the story that is usually absent. My only criticisms would be that the MC is a little too angelic to be believed. He is completely understanding and uncritical of everyone, no matter how nasty they are to him. The other criticism is that this ex-husband is a little too nasty to be believed. It's not clear at all why he stayed with him so long, and why he ever loved him. He seems to have no redeeming qualities at all. The narration is great.
This book is an intelligent and emotional one, and is well worth your credit. I will definitely be getting all of his other books.