Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
After a suicide attempt left him hospitalized for seven months, Jesse Holbrooke is returning home to live with his parents. Despite the treatment he received, his depression hangs like a cloud over his head, casting his life in a perpetual darkness he can’t seem to escape. But just when the obstacles become insurmountable, a glimmer of light appears.
Life hasn’t been easy for Adam Foster, a barista with a bad stutter, but he keeps his chin up and tries not to let the mockery of others get to him. Though shy, Adam is sweet and romantic, and Jesse knows they could be perfect for each other. Adam’s support gives Jesse the courage to face the darkness and believe in the possibility of happiness at last. But if their romance is going to last, both young men will have to look inside and find acceptance—for themselves as well as for each other.
The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis is a powerfully moving and often difficult at times to read story. Jesse Holbrooke is a sad man. He has been that way for as long as he can remember. A recent suicide attempt had him institutionalized for severe depression and now he’s home. But he’s not coping well and neither is his family.
The Red Thread is told from Jesse’s view point and what a stark, dark place it is. If you don’t have depression or know of a person with depression, reading…no listening to Jesse’s thoughts will help bring some understanding to the darkness and pain a person suffering must go through. Also his family who are clearly tiptoeing around him having no idea how to handle the situation or Jesse himself.
Ellis paints such a poignant, clear picture of what depression can do to a person and the people around them here. The high points, the fighting against the constant lows, the medications, adjusting of medications. Its a struggle and winning is not assured. Sometimes its hard to remain a friend of the person who has depression because its hard to keep struggling with them. The reader will fight that fight as well as some of Jesse’s friends. I thought to convey that part of depression was pretty brave here, to risk alienating your readers by being authentic and true to the disease that has overwhelmed Jesse from birth. Its so heartbreaking. Then Adam Foster enters the scene.
Adam, the man with a stutter who captures Jesse’s heart. And ours. They have a sweet meet and their romance is a thread here that we can connect with but really, that’s not the story. Their romance runs like a lovely layer overtop the story that consumes the book.
This story belongs to Jesse and his struggle with depression. Its not going away. There are no miracle cures. No HEA. Bravo to Bryan Ellis for not trying to give us one. He gives us reality instead. Life’s a struggle, you go on the best you can with people who love and support you, if you are lucky. That honesty makes this story. And Jesse. The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis is a wonderful story that shouldn’t be missed. I highly recommend it even if it leaves your heart feeling a little sadder as you will feel more understanding of what someone with depression is going through.
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht. Cover art is simple and perfect. The red thread has a deep meaning here and its conveyed beautifully.
ebook, 256 pages
Expected publication: September 2nd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777247 (ISBN13: 9781634777247)