Review: A.C. Burch – The HomePort Journals

The HomePort Journals
A.C. Burch

Marc longs to be an author, but the words never seem to come to him in the city. After he breaks up with his abusive partner, he flees to Provincetown, where he’s taken in by an old woman and her enigmatic companions.

25244093The novel is well realised, with scenery which I can vividly picture right now. There was only one inconsistency towards the end of the novel, when the Captain’s journals appeared in two places at once. I can see them walking down the beach, and Marc trying to write in his tower, complete with the art workshop on one of the middle floors.

I like that in this novel, all of the characters are ok with being one form of queer or another. This is a world I dream of, where it’s ok to be yourself! Everyone in the novel has a role somewhere, even if it’s not where you expect. They were lovely, three dimensional characters that reached out to me through just Marc’s perspective – a mark of a strong writer.

I spent most of the novel in suspense that Brandon would track down Marc. I knew he would eventually, but I didn’t know how much Marc was going to be able to stand up against him. Marc draws people to him without even knowing it, and those people think he’s worth a lot more than he gives himself credit for.

The romance that occurs in this novel is subtly layered and sort of incidental. What threw me was some of the comments of Marc to himself about being extrainged from love. He had been so badly hurt (which is mainly just alluded to intriguingly through the novel), and yet he can’t open up when someone else is trying to help! If the romance was the main theme, the reader wouldn’t keep going.

Instead, the mystery and suspense of the plot grips the reader. I wanted to know the history, and how all the competing interests would be served. I loved the ending. So happy, and yet, bittersweet, and arg, why didn’t they fix things earlier.

At some point recently in my reading, I have moved into the pure fiction genre. I never expected it to happen, usually finding those sort of novels boring and repeditive. But add a hint of mystery and a strong queer element, and you’ve got an avid reader on your hands.

I give this novel a very solid 4 stars, moving up to 5 stars. It’s just not a 5-stars for me because I don’t have a strong desire to read it again. But by all means, go out there and buy it, it’s awesome!

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