Title: A Second Harvest
Author: Eli Easton
Narrator: Will Tulin
Run Time: 7 hours and 40 minutes
At a Glance: In the end, I was unimpressed with the strength of this narrator to convey the beauty of author Eli Easton’s words.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.
Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.
But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.
Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness.
Review: The Story: Christy Landon needed a change, and inheriting his aunt’s home in rural Lancaster, PA, seemed just the ticket after a drunken night of partying turned sour and nearly killed his best friend. Allowing for the beauty and simplicity of the country to wash him clean and revitalize both his art and his passion for life, in general, the last thing Christy is looking for is a relationship—even though he deeply craves that kind of intimacy. He definitely doesn’t expect his widowed neighbor to be the guy who finally gets under his skin and into his heart.
David Fisher has spent his forty-one years pleasing everyone around him. Raised in a devout Mennonite community with a strict and angry father, David was forced to take over the farm at the tender age of seventeen when his dad died suddenly of a heart attack. Getting married shortly after and raising two children while running his dairy farm has taken up every ounce of energy he has, and has enabled him to keep his real desires and emotions buried deep. David is so used to being in the closet and wracked with guilt over the biblical implications of his “carnal desires” that he barely realizes how much it is tearing him apart. When he meets Christy, his entire life comes into focus for the first time, and he dares to hope that perhaps he can finally break free and have the life he has always dreamed of but never tried. But the church and his two grown children are strong reminders that he will have to break through more than just his own hesitation to achieve happiness with Christy.
This was a beautiful coming out story—one of hope and love. David grapples with so many issues to get to where he wants to be—happy and fulfilled and finally living for himself as opposed to everyone else. Christy grows up in this novel—putting aside his empty one-night stands and endless partying to pursue a more stable relationship and enjoy the simpler things of life. Together these men were a match made in heaven, and the romance that slowly evolved between them was just incredibly well done—perfectly paced and gorgeously written.
The Audio: I must be honest when I say that the narration for this lovely novel left me rather ambivalent. Will Tulin admittedly had a challenging job when it came to voicing this story, as it had several distinct characters that begged for distinct voices. Within that cadre of people, both Kyle and Christie would need to have two definite and different voice patterns, as they begin the novel in an inebriated state which begged for at least some slurring of speech. During that same scene, there is a terrifying event that called for some fairly dramatic narration, as it became the catalyst for prompting both men to clean up their acts and change their lives. Unfortunately I am not sure Mr. Tulin ever achieved the needed frantic tone, which would have conveyed just how scary the whole episode was for Christy.
My other pet peeve was the fact that there were definite times when Mr. Tulin’s higher and breathier voicing for various characters, such as Amy, David’s daughter, bled right into the narrator’s tone of voice causing me to question who was speaking and/or whose inner dialogue was being exposed. You see, this novel’s greatest challenge was the fact that there was actually a great deal more introspective musing going on than actual dialogue. David was a shy and intensely private man, and most of his thoughts were done via longer passages of prose, giving us lovely insight into how his mind worked and just how repressed his dreams and desires were. With this kind of novel, you have to have a narrator who is able to captivate the audience by using varying tone, pacing and adjusting your overall presentation to indicate who is actually telling the story. Sadly, there was very little variance between the times we were privy to Christy’s thoughts and when we were inside David’s mind.
I did feel that the narrator truly attempted to differentiate his voices, and there were times when I could clearly capture who was speaking and the emotions they were trying to convey, but it simply was not done with any great consistency. In the end, I was unimpressed with the strength of this narrator to convey the beauty of author Eli Easton’s words.
You can buy A Second Harvest here: