Damn Love by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara #LGBT #Audiobook #Review

MtSnow reviews audiobook ‘Damn Love’ by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Narrator: Courtney Patterson, produced by Listenupaudiobooks

Why I listened to and reviewed this book: we were provided a review copy of this audiobook by a new-to-us audiobook producer in exchange for an honest review.

Damn Love

 

Blurb:

Set in San Francisco and North Carolina, the linked stories in Damn Love introduce characters struggling with love in all its complicated forms, including a young doctor getting over a breakup with the help of a patient, a newly married gay man who reconnects with his estranged mother, a trio of physicists caught in a surprising love triangle, and a soldier who takes secrets with her to the Iraqi desert. Together, these stories report out from the fault lines of American life, uncertain territory where identity, risk, and desire comingle, and where reconciliation can be found in even the most flawed efforts to connect. – See more at: http://listenupaudiobooks.com/audiobooks/product/damn-love/#sthash.g4oHEUYZ.dpuf

*****

Review

First off, I need to say that this book is not a romance. In fact, the stories did not have any real positive resolutions, but show more of human nature and what choices each of these individuals made and how they lived with their choices. The stories are well written, and well narrated, but left me more melancholy and sad than before I had listened.

I will caution you that if you need your stories to have a happy ending this is probably not for you. But, if you are adventurous enough to just want to listen to a well-narrated human interest story, give it a try.

Since I listened to this book vice read it, and there were different narrators for each character, it was hard for me to get comfortable with the pacing or in a flow. But, saying that, it didn’t take me long to figure out how these characters somehow loosely related to characters in the previous chapters. The dynamic between the characters was at times strong, and at others, passive.

From the blurb I think I was hoping for some resolution to some big world-shaking problems, and instead what I received was a shot in the arm, a bit of a rough-up, then I had to pick myself up and move on to the next chapter. I did not at any time get to settle down and feel comfortable with these people, and I was given plenty of food for thought.

This story is emotional, well-written and includes different LGBT characters. As a romance, it did not work for me, but as a human interest story, well, let’s just say the characters still stick in my mind and my heart today. It is highly recommendable to people who do not mind a non-HEA, or even an HFN.

It was roller coaster ride for my heart and one story in particular had me very sad of what could’ve been. It was excellently written and relates directly to GLBT characters in all walks of life…

I’m going to include a short synopsis of each loosely interrelated chapter and rate the book overall, as it’s not an anthology, just excerpts of regular peoples lives that touch upon each other.

Ch1-Staying Alive – F/F relationship. A doctor’s Girlfriend breaks up with her due to her having an affair. She talks about her different patients and the interns she supervises, flashbacks to childhood and a beloved uncle who ends up dying a year before, she only finds out by being called to identify his body. She used to wish to be a boy. Loves footballs, and loves her uncle. One of her patients is ‘Weasel’. She always hugs her patients at the end of her treatment. It’s her final goodbye, just in case. Emily, the girlfriend has a new older girlfriend. Silicon Valley tycoon. The dr spends too many hours at work. She learns to be matter of fact. A banquet of souls, includes the ghosts. The doctor is still secretly in love with a girlhood friend, Keesha.

Ch2-Different Paths, Same Woods – cancer, religious mother (Ruthie) invited to gay sons marriage. Son does not know she is ill. Has a friend, Janet, who tries to talk her into going to the wedding or telling son about her cancer.

Ch3-Custody Bus – hotel employee. Exes Still love each other. They meet in hotel monthly dates. Loneliness personified, flashbacks to childhood memories and rides on this boys for kids of divorced parents. Cassie and Carlos.

Ch4-An Equal And Opposite Force -Two Drs. in love with same woman. Triangle with no resolution.She is married to Jane (Boston) for 6 years. Lucy, student she has affair with. Erin and Miles Lombardo and Raj Reddy -at Berkeley. Erin has affair with a student (Lucy) at MIT. Small connection with first story. Same character from chapter 1.

Ch5-Monkey -Gay lawyer 66 yrs old. Retired. New home being built, staying at a hotel. Castro. Gym, yoga and Pilates. Sex with younger men. Ryan is his personal trainer. Jack is his hairdresser. 35. Duane was his partner that died 4 years previous. Only Jack knows he was known as ‘Monkey’ by Duane. Flashbacks to love, relationships, history, and life experiences. Talk of ‘The Virus’… So melancholy and full of loneliness.

Ch6-Love The Soldier -Keesha flashbacks. She was a Cop . She dated a lawyer, who asked her if she was deploying in the military because she wanted to? Her father is a pastor in Durham. She was a WNBA player. 9/11 changed her mind… She went to NY and Phoenix, but didn’t renew her WNBA contract. She had a friend cop get murdered. She’s a closet lesbian.

Ch7-Layover – Carlos and Brenda. She is pregnant. She knows Carlos is hooking up with ex wife Cassie at the hotel. He had just left her 2 weeks before. She is at airport. Patient charts. She is a psychologist. Spending Christmas with family. Going back to grandmothers. Her father is dead. Finds out grandma had written her for 30 years, and her mother had intercepted. Her and Carlos had only been together 5 months. His ex wife had asked him to move back in. She is trying to decide whether to have the baby…

Ch8-Hit Me – Weasel (Robbie) keeps secrets from his case manager. He has a girl, Ruthie (case manager) and knows she craves order. Doesn’t talk about his HIV status, that he is still using. His father is a blank stare. Often during their sessions, things break. Accidents ‘find her’. He heads to Bart station to wait for his brother Lonnie, to both head to their mothers apt. Lonnie is 41 yrs old. Black (1/2) Mother is Irish. Lou, Weasel’s father is Italian. Susan, Lonnie’s new girlfriend is Korean. Each week they worry that they will knock on their mother’s door and she will be dead.

Ch9-American Martyr -Peter , it was his mothers best friend Janet who finally tells him about the cancer. He hadn’t heard her voice in more than 15 years. His mother needed a bone marrow transplant. All been tested, but he hadn’t heard from her since before his wedding. Felix asks about where she had grown up since she had both breast cancer and lymphoma? Peter had to do on his own. He was a match..a 4 out of a possible 8. His mom had already been admitted. His marrow, would make way thru his mothers bones for weeks. It would only take him hours to extract.

One of the stories that hit me the strongest was the first one with the Doctor, and her relationship with her uncle. That one drove me to some serious tears of mourning for what could’ve been, if only…

Then the one with the mother and son, told from the mother’s POV in the second chapter then from the son’s POV in the last chapter, well, let’s say the ending was hard, hopeful, yet not. Very realistic though, and really made me sad that I could see these different people in their own heads not knowing what the other person thinks or feels, set in their ways, with their pride, or preconceived ideas of how they think other people will react.

Overall, this is a very well written compilation of stories that are loosely related and stuck with me long after listening was completed. I was left in an almost grieving state, when the stories were finished, as we are left not really knowing what happens next, and wanting more for these people we are introduced to.

So, for me, it was really just the non-HEA that personally did not work for me, but it is emotional, well-written and includes different LGBT characters. I would highly recommend this audiobook for those that do not mind no HEA and for a realistic snapshot into life’s ‘what ifs’, ‘what could’ve been’, and an overall very well-written story that embraces the choices that people make every day, and the consequences of those choices on the rest of their lives and future relationships.

I have mixed feelings as far as rating, so am leaving the rating off. But, just so you know, this is a very good book to listen to.

2 thoughts on “Damn Love by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara #LGBT #Audiobook #Review

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