“One Good Deed” by Andrew Grey— Coming Together

one good deed

Grey, Andrew. “One Good Deed”, Dreamspinner Press, 2014.

Coming Together

Amos Lassen

Luka Krachec immigrated to the United States from Serbia and found that his cousin has died and his wife is in the hospital —they had been in a terrible accident. At his cousin’s funeral, Luka met Peter Montgomery and he is drawn to him especially when he offers to help Luka with his English.

We learn of Peter’s troubled past—he believes that when he was just six years old that he shot his father and because he feels so rueful and ashamed, his family has been able to use that to keep the way they want him. Feeling the need to atone, Peter tries to help others with their problems but he was really not prepared for what would transpire between Luka and himself.

When Peter confides in Luka what happened, Luke feels that there is something missing in the story and goes to the chairman of the psychology department at the university where he is studying. As the stories are released from Peter’s memory, everyone is surprised at what they hear.

I have been reading Andrew Grey for years and I usually have an idea about what to expect from him but this book threw me for a loop. Grey usually writes about angst that is almost totally absent here. Instead we get a touching story and a sensitive look at love. The focus here is on how relationships develop and how we discover truths about ourselves. Luka suffers a double portion of loss—the loss of his boyfriend at home and the loss of his cousin here. Peter has to deal with the guilt that he feels for an incident some twenty-five years earlier and its aftermath.

It is Luka, the newcomer, who helps Peter to get help because he feels that the story is incomplete. This, of course, is a result of the two entering the early stages of a relationship. As a result, both men find a new lease on life, a new family and the liberation of being able to live and love openly.

When Luka met Peter, he saw in him some of the same qualities he had seen in his dead lover, Misha. Both men are kind and care for others and so Luka is determined to get to know Peter and help him deal with the issues that consume him. Little by little, we sense his success but he receives quite a blow when the Serbian government wants him to return home. Both men have important issues to deal with but because this is a love story, we know all will be fine. Love and loss come together here to produce more love.

I do not know how Andrew Grey constantly comes up with new ideas and characters and gives them to us in wonderful prose but I am sure glad that he does.