Brooke, Anne. “The Heart’s Greater Silence’, Riptide Publishing, 2012.
Since I began reviewing some five years ago, I have noticed that there are certain authors that continuously deliver good reads. Anne Brooke is one of those and she never disappoints. While I am used to reading Brooke in novel form, I was not sure how I would react to a short story especially because I really do not like short stories. I guess that is about to change as lately I have read some really fine short stories.
We meet Mark who is not really sure how he feels about love or if he really believes that it can exist. He has two boyfriends—Craig, reliable and trustworthy and Richard, a secret lover and a priest. He knows that he should give Richard up but he is drawn to him and finds in him the best sex he has ever had. He “loves” the sex but he also loves the intimacy that he shares with Craig. Eventually Craig discovers “the affair”, Mark knows that the time has come for serious introspection and as we all know, self-acceptance and knowing oneself is not always easy. There is also the fact that Richard loves God and is looking to find his way to him. Mark feels nothing for this and he knows that he must find himself before he can give himself to someone else. Mark actually appears afraid to learn too much about who he is.
Mark wants his cake and plans to eat it as well. In the beginning he had no trouble with the two men he spent time but when Craig and Richrd meet, he was hurt painfully and in a way that was to influence his life. He has trouble deciding between need and want and he is divided. Mark was one of those guys that wanted for nothing and the world was his oyster. When lust and love meet to fight it out over him, he had to decide what to do.
I am not sure how to put this book into a specific genre. While Mark might want romance, this is not a romantic read and we do not see love going on. Perhaps that is what makes it special. This is certainly not a light story and as we watch Mark lose everything he has, we become even more aware of what kind of person he is. Brooke has created an unforgettable character in Mark and in his despairs and conflicts. His desires ruled his decisions and the fact that he has two very different boyfriends shows that he is searching for himself. When the story is over, we are still not sure of what he plans to do but whatever it is, if Anne Brooke lets us, we will be there to find out.