Review: The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis

After a suicide attempt left him hospitalized for seven months, Jesse Holbrooke is returning home to live with his parents. Despite the treatment he received, his depression hangs like a cloud over his head, casting his life in a perpetual darkness he can’t seem to escape. But just when the obstacles become insurmountable, a glimmer of light appears.

Life hasn’t been easy for Adam Foster, a barista with a bad stutter, but he keeps his chin up and tries not to let the mockery of others get to him. Though shy, Adam is sweet and romantic, and Jesse knows they could be perfect for each other. Adam’s support gives Jesse the courage to face the darkness and believe in the possibility of happiness at last. But if their romance is going to last, both young men will have to look inside and find acceptance—for themselves as well as for each other.

DNF @ 12%

There is something in the tone of this story that made it very difficult for me to read. This story is about a man with depression, and to be quite honest, the way this is written caused me to sink into a not good place. I doubt that is what the author intended, and I like to believe that Jesse would start to move into a slightly more level headspace while developing his relationship with Adam, but unfortunately, after trying twice, and being triggered twice, I cannot put myself through it.

From what I read, there was a lot of internal monologuing. Not my favourite style of writing. Coupled with the darker emotional content, and it stalled the story too much for me. I felt like I was sinking into a fog and I had to stop reading for a few days just to get my headspace back.

I’m sure there is an audience for this. I think it’s an important topic to write about. It is also important for love stories to be written with characters who live with depression, and for it to be realistic and not presented with ‘love cures all’. I think this story was going to be that. Jesse’s depression and Adam’s stutter would push both into acceptance of the other’s needs and differences. But alas, since I didn’t get far enough into it to know, I’m just going to have to have faith that the author put a lot of love and care into the way the main characters were authentically presented from start to finish.

A copy was provided in exchange for a review

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