New York City, His Career As A Concert Pianist Ended By A War Injury, Sutton Albright Returns To College, Only To Be Expelled After A Scandalous Affair With A Teacher Unable To Face His Family, Sutton Heads To Manhattan With No Plans And Little Money In His Pocket But With A Desire To Call His Life His Own Jack Bailey Lost His Parents To Influenza And Now Hopes To Save The Family Novelty Shop By Advertising On The Radio, A Medium Barely Than A Novelty, Itself His Nights Are Spent In A Careless And Debauched Romp Through The Gayer Sections Of Manhattan When These Two Men Cross Paths, Despite A World Of Differences Separating Them, Their Attraction Cannot Be Denied Sutton Finds Himself Drawn To The Piano, Playing For Jack But Can His Music Heal Them Both, Or Will Sudden Prosperity Jeopardize Their Chance At Love This is true Tamara Allen sweetness here a quiet little story full of hope in a bleak time.Sutton and Jack are WWI veterans trying to figure out how to get back into civilian life after the war Jack runs an emporium which is struggling because of the economic times He s also suffering from PTSD, unable to sleep most nights Sutton suffered a hand injury that has prevented him from getting back to playing the piano, and he s running out of ways to make it on his own in NYC I really liked the way Ms Allen took her time with this story and building up these characters and their relationship, so that while this is another one month romance, it didn t feel rushed at all, and it actually felt like a lot time had passed She really pays attention to the details, like the treatments for PTSD and the health advice for influenza, and makes sure the characters feel like they re from the time period Normally, when this many side characters are tolerable of Jack and Sutton s relationship, I d bemoan gay okay revisionist history in M M, but Ms Allen never loses sight of the consequences, not just of the general public but of the law as well, if the wrong people find out or decide to spread the word Plus, it s New York, where almost anything goes There s also a variety of different ways that the characters react to it when they find out, so they re not exactly 100% on the Rainbow Train even when their responses are mostly positive I also liked that Sutton wasn t the wide eyed country boy, and that Jack wasn t the corrupting influence his friends teased him as being Though they d both served in the army, they didn t come out of it tough as nails warriors like you see so much of in contemporary stories You can see the weariness on them both, and Jack especially had a hard time forgetting the things he saw or the people who died so he could do his work They were tired of fighting and eager to put it behind them.The narrator, Meral Mathews, has a nice old timey quality to his voice that suits the story I do wish he d made of a distinction between the various voices, but I was still always able to keep track of who was speaking and which POV we were in. This is probably not going to be a proper review not even a bullet one I am so tired And I even have things to do today.All I m going to say is that this is a beautiful, heartwarming, believable, almost flawlessly written novel that is as much a story of friendship, finding your place in the world and overcoming all sorts of hardships I can t seem to find a way not to make it sound terribly clich as it is a romance The only reason why a it took me two weeks to read it, and b I only rated it 4 stars is that somewhere around 60% the narration lost steam completely, and I had to literally force myself to read on for a few dozen pages until it picked up again It was worth it.That said, that might have been largely due to my mood and to the fact that I was reading two other books in the meantime.It s lovely, sweet, fun, funny, sad and every other emotion in the spectrum and I feel the deepest affection for all of the main characters even now The simple fact that it had me devouring the last 60 pages with a hesitant smile on my lips and my fists clenched, in a place and time where I was most certainly not supposed to be reading, warrants top marks.Come on You know you want to. Too anodyne for me I want a spark, something At least it transports you to the 1910s in no time.Too slow, too average, too bland I liked the shop, the music, the environment, the lifestyle, the after war theme But details and surroundings are nothing if there are not worthy and memorable characters to focus on.I think Tamara Allen is not for me. This was a wonderful book, that had the truth and flavor of a historical without any loss of immediacy and connection Sutton is sweet and honorable and a little lost, and will go straight to your heart Jack is wild and determined and wounded, and carries on with gallant courage behind the mask of not giving a damn There are moments of humor and moments that will break your heart I haven t read anything by this author yet that hasn t been beautifully written and emotionally satisfying Highly recommended.
Downtime was originally published under the pen name
- 340 pages
- Whistling in the Dark
- Tamara Allen
- 14 September 2017 Tamara Allen