“Digging Deep” by Jay Hogan— A Gay Male Midwife

Hogan, Jay. “Digging Deep”, Jay Hogan, 2019.

A Gay Male Midwife

Amos Lassen

Drake Park is a gay male midwife so he is unusual looks he gets from people. He also suffers from Crohn’s disease and his love life is nothing to speak of. Drake has learned that most men can’t really deal with his disease and they are here today and gone tomorrow. It takes a lot of work for Drake to stay healthy and his job takes up the rest of the time. Being alone is the price he pays to be able to work and to stay healthy. But he knows better.  

Caleb Ashton, on the other hand, has a life free of complications. He is senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department and he likes his job and is good at it. He also is a hard work who plays hard as well and he looks forward to have as many men as possible while he is young enough to enjoy them. But his age is working on him and he has begun to feel unmoored. Yet he is very attracted to Drake.

Drake, however, is not sure he is ready to try again and he is unsure that Caleb can cope with the challenges of Crohn’s.  If you are unfamiliar with the disease, do not worry; author Jay Hogan basically explains it. He shows

how the disease affects those who suffer from it and how it impacts their lives. Because of Crohn’s, the romance here moves slowly especially because Drake and Caleb spend a lot of time trying to figure out whether they are up for the difficulties that their life together would be. Of course, there are also the other problems that couples face when they build a relationship as well. They both feel indecision during which Hogan explore the ways they feel for each other. I found it refreshing that this was not an instant relationship and I appreciate getting to know the two characters better. They are both able to joke. about Drake’s illness and we see that when life is rough, humor is good.  
Hogan presents a very real approach to Crohn’s disease and we see how involved it is and how it can put a damper on a sexual relationship. Caleb proved himself to be worthy of Drake by the way he sees Caleb, problems and all. What the two men go through reads as very real and authentic. We really do not get many romances that have a disease thrown it.

I loved Caleb and Drake coming  together and conversing dealing with all of the what ifs. There is a lot of description and we feel the emotions of the characters as we read. I have never read Jay Hogan before and I am now a fan. His book well deserves the Lambda Literary nomination.

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