Passing Through

Passing Through - Jay Northcote

When I was traveling throughout England, the first view I had was an endless horizon of green. It was August and I swear in August I usually have sun and not rains. But one day it was cloudless and we decided to have a go in Brighton and its beach. Serious mistake. There was no fine sand whatsoever, only rocks that stabbed my soles till I reached the water, and those same rocks that stabbed my soles when I came back. And those same rocks stabbed my butt when I sat down.

I'm pretty confident I remembered all my bloodline all day long.

My experience was traumatic at least. Natives surely thought Spaniards are crazy but hey, I thought the same of British. Some of them were lying on the rocks and even sleeping. How could they? O.O

But England offers more than bitch beaches, if you look well.

(That bitch, sorry, beach, had rocks like these)

I'm impressed by this author. A good reason I chose this book from hers was because of the cover. When I had the book in my hands I turned pages to find the artist and saw it was Garrett Leigh. I was delighted but not surprised, she's as awesome as that. I felt curiosity because Jay Northcote is a successful author, so it struck to me as weird she decided to self-publish her book when she was choices amongst the publishing houses (DSP, a big one).

Leo comes back to Cornwall to be with his beloved uncle in his last days. He meets Tris, who lives in the little cottage in the propriety. Leo has an unstoppable life, but not in the personal department: he works, he works and he works a little more. Being in the coast brings him good memories and a peace he had forgotten a long time ago. Also, he doesn't precisely reject his companionship in the middle of all the beauty of the views. Tris has a son, Ben, and has never been out of the closet until his ex found out he was cheating on her with a man. To say their lives are complicated is an understatement. To say that the chance of surpassing their problems to be together in the future is small is an understatement. Or is it?

The novel is short but well-built and neat. Ordinary people with ordinary problems lead to the error of thinking this is nothing out of the ordinary. Apparently nothing special but certainly nothing further from the truth. The plot is solid, the characters are likable, and you truly feel the main couple are made for each other.

Because when they meet you instantly know there is something there. You instantly know they fit. You instantly know it's so palpable like air, meaning, with no form but between them. And as they glance at each other, as they brush each other, you want something to bring form to that sentiment. And thank God, it happens.

Leo and Tris together lead to an wordless intimacy that keeps you trapped with them. When they kiss, you believe it. When they make love, you believe it. When they cry, you believe it. When they cuddle, you believe it. When they are naughty, you believe it. Every action of theirs was believable and every scene was warm and familiar.

I couldn't stop noticing now and then that no woman appeared on scene. Apart from the occasional visit of the nurse, the phone conversations with Leo's mother, and the mention of Tris's ex-wife, there was no feminine presence around, which is fine for me. There were only 3 characters: Leo, Tris, Edwin. Wise decision not to overload with multiple faces, it would have turned this into something quite different. Less intimate. Less memorable.

Finally, due to Edwin's story and his awesomeness I must pay homage to this great character:

And this:

And this:

He's the third leg of the table. Without him, the story would have been very different.

Seize the day.