I was given an ARC by the author in return for an honest review.
Jonathan St. Andrews has spent seventeen years content to live in his quiet, secluded world. Popularity never more than a passing thought, friendships would inevitably lead to disappointment when others realized he was every bit as awkward on the inside as he seemed on the outside. With high school graduation right around the corner, Jon sets his sights on a career in medicine, spending his evenings at his father’s side learning the family business.
As part of the House of Crimson and Clover series, this is the back story of Jonathan St Andrews and helps us understand how and why Jon developed into the dark character we meet in The Storm and The Darkness. This can be read as a stand alone short story but if you enjoy family sagas with a difference, I highly recommend The House Of Crimson and Clover series.
Jon St Andrews is the antithesis of his younger brother, Finn. Jon, reserved and unpopular, with an inability to relate to people in general. Finn, easygoing, friendly and cheerful. At seventeen Jon also has a complicated relationship with his father, who assumes Jon will follow in his footsteps and become a doctor. Jon is torn, wanting to please his father but terrified of the close contact with people being a doctor would entail.
For Jon, it was his inability to connect with other individuals. Or, as his father put it, Jon’s unwillingness to learn how to deal with people.
When Jon and Carla Edgewater, who he has known all his life but has always ignored him, form the unlikeliest of friendships it opens up a part of Jon that has always been suppressed. As their relationship develops the threat from Carla’s jealous and controlling boyfriend escalates and spirals towards an outcome none of them could ever have predicted.
Somber and compelling, this story highlights how Jon’s life was changed forever and why he evolved into the man he eventually became. But it does allow some empathy and compassion for Jon, the man. It’s a shocking tale of malicious intent causing untold and irreversible harm which has a knock on effect through the years.
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