Review: A Note in the Margin

Dreamspinner Press sometimes have promotions where they give away free ebooks. One of the gems I discovered was a book called A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan. The book has continuously come up on my Goodreads recommendations so I was keen to give it a try. I wish I had read it earlier, as it is so good; I just had to pimp it out to you all. It centres around David and John. David is a homeless man and John a businessman who is on a leave of absence due to migraines. While it may sound like an interesting mix, I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Check after the jump to see why I loved this book so much.

The book starts out when we are introduced to John McCann. You can picture the type. Business suit, working ridiculous hours, on the verge of a breakdown. No time for a life. Basically John is forced to take a break on doctor's orders and he does so by leasing a bookstore called Margins for a year. The book store comes with the owner's son, Jamie, in tow as well to show John the ropes. What Margins also comes with is David. David comes into the store every day the store is open to read secondhand books.

David is homeless and dealing with mental illness. Everything he owns is in a backpack, he smells, his clothes are dirty and like so many of us John is at first disgusted. Homeless people tend to be blocked from our minds' eyes and when John is forced to face the reality of a homeless man in front of him, we see over time his perspective start to change. Jamie is part of the fabric of this story. He helps to open John's eyes to the world around him and to see David as a human being. There is more to David than simply being a homeless man.

Rowan deals with the difficult issue of depression. This is the reason David is on the streets. Because David has been on the streets for so long, it is hard to imagine him living a life away from there. His mind is messed up and it isn't an easy road to gain some sense of self again and to want to try to have a life away from the streets. He has lived there a long time. Life on the streets is harrowing and the things one must do to survive are not pretty. I wanted to bawl my eyes out part way through the book and I'm not a crier. Rowan's writing captivated me and I wanted to race to the conclusion, as only good books make you want to.

This is one of the best M/M books I've come across in recent times and I highly recommend it. It deals with a couple of tough topics and Isabelle Rowan has dealt with them well. This book isn't for the faint hearted, but it is essentially a romance and therefore at its heart it is uplifting. We are still left with the feeling that things are not going to be easy and David will continually come across situations which will dredge up memories of the past.

Let me know some great M/M books you have discovered this year. I've been having a tough time pulling the gems from amongst the turnips. Maybe I'm just picky ;-). I would love to hear your recommendations.


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