Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of
Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be
alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood,
there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared. But a
fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a
horrific incident. Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of
alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s
desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first
love has been lost to him-until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be
officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet. Amid the rush of
emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only
has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may
be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly
tearing Alistair’s mind apart.
Review: By the time I started reading this book, I had mostly forgotten the summary, so it was a lot darker of a story than I originally thought. I knew that Ryde was in love with his best friend Alistair, but that by the time they are adults, Alistair has entered the priesthood and Ryde is desperate to remind him of their teenage love. If you have read the summary above, then you know that there is a lot more to the story than just a teenage love gone wrong.
Alistair and Ryde have been best friends for years, even if other people think that Alistair is weird. His family is very religious and they are certain that Alistair will become a priest one day. Alistair begins to question that when he falls for Ryde. However, one summer when they are teens, Alistair goes on a camping trip with Ryde and his family and both of their lives change forever.
Even if you are more informed of the plot than I was going in, I don’t want to talk too much about the moment that changes the boys because it’s a big part of the story and you should discover that on your own. However, after this moment, the story skips to fourteen years later and Ryde is now thirty-one. He has had a problem with alcohol for years. His family understands why, but they want him to get better and aren’t sure how to go about it.
It takes the news that Alistair is officiating a friend’s wedding to get Ryde to try and change his life around. He gets sober, begins really talking to a therapist and begins his quest to take Alistair away from the church and back into his life. If you are a really religious person, you might be a bit upset on how some of the priests and the church are portrayed. At the same time, this book isn’t anti-religion or anti-God. Alistair always keeps his belief in God and he continues to pray, regardless of what is going on in his life.
Craving’s Creek is an adult novel with mature moments, but it’s also an intense read that deals with mental illness, horrific moments in the past, and the power of love in leading you on the way to healing.