RATING 5 out of 5 stars
More than a decade after leaving Colorado to attend college and escape his past, Isaiah Greene moves back and builds a life in Denver as a special education teacher. When he meets Ben Woods, the mentor of one of his students, the attraction is immediate. The revelations that they’ve both suffered traumatic childhoods form a bond between them.
Raised by an abusive grandmother, Ben is a recovering addict who has made a family with his construction worker boss, Hershel, and Hershel’s husband, Daniel—drag queen ManDonna. Adding Isaiah to his life gives Ben a glimpse of a future he’d never dreamed possible for himself.
Both Isaiah and Ben are survivors, but when guilt drives a wedge between them, the past threatens to end their relationship.
Ben and Isaiah embark on journeys of self-discovery. Though their path will be difficult at times, humor and love find a way to bring light to the darkness.
Under a Sky of Ash was my first book by Brandon Witt, although I already knew him and heard good things about him, I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading one of his stories. Yes, this novel was a huge pleasure to read. Since the first chapters, I understood the talent of the author’s style.
The story touched my heart deeply, of course the prologue broke my heart, I met Isaiah, only twelve years old, having his first kiss with the sweet RJ, both so young and enthusiastic of the life, until RJ’s dad almost killed them. And then my heart broke again each time Isaiah and RJ met later in the years. Each time Isaiah couldn’t forgive himself and forget that night. Each time I saw Aaron and that time when he finally found a family. The book was a continuos of “times” to me, some made my soul cry, others lift it.
This is not an easy read, it is pretty heavy, a punch in the gut, the characters very complex, but Under a Sky of Ash was so worth all of my tears, it packs so many feelings hard to ignore. And all of them delivered. Probably this was what I most appreciated, the author’s ability to deliver everything he wrote, making me part of the characters’ lives and their emotions. He delivered their strength and courage and I felt the comfort when they finally found a little happiness.
If you’re looking for a light story to escape your reality, look away, but if you’re a fan of angst, this novel is a winner, you can’t miss it. I’ve discovered a new author and I’m soon going to read more of his works.
The cover art by Anne Cain is good but I would have preferred something different, it didn’t convince me.
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
ebook, 270 pages
Published March 21st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press