Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator:: Tristan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 4 Hours, 19 Minutes
At a Glance: As usual, Tristan James delivers an excellent performance
Blurb: What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.
When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.
Review: Still frustrated me. As the story is told from Siv’s point of view, I read almost immediately that he’s a runner. Rather than confronting his problems and working them out, he comes across as a man who ignores them until he gets to the point he turns off emotionally. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that his own parents abandoned him. His mother left his father the day after they’d kicked Siv out, and his two brothers disown him as well, so there’s a history of abandonment.
Walter was also disowned and disinherited by his family as well, not because he was gay but because he’d married a Mexican woman who got pregnant while he was experimenting with his sexuality. While he’d worked his way through school and supported his family, his wife was cheating on him, which lead to their divorce. These things made something click about understanding where Walter was coming from, why he didn’t fight the divorce when Siv ask for it, and even though Siv is doing all the talking during this scene, you can sense that Walter isn’t happy with what’s coming out of Siv’s mouth.
As an outsider reading this, I immediately saw a serious lack of communication on both sides, as well as taking each other for granted. Not to mention Siv was anything but still. That man had some pretty serious resentment toward Walter. There’s a reason, real or imagined, that Siv started to build his walls to protect himself.
Yes, Walter screwed up by working too much, but there wasn’t any real warning on Siv’s part that if Walter didn’t slow down and spend time with him Siv would leave. Between the two characters, I liked Walter the best because he was the first one to work on himself to change. I liked how Walter went about transforming himself in order to win back Siv’s affections. There was one poignant moment when Walter tells Siv, “I can make you see me again.” It was kind of sad and heartfelt. And it was wonderful when Siv finally had his epiphany, when he finally “saw” Walter again. Tristan James was fantastic at delivering these tender moments between Walter and Siv.
I also had some serious smile moments when Siv and Walter’s friends, family, and even a neighbor all made their opinions known on how they felt about the situation between them.
As usual, Tristan James delivers an excellent performance. I love how he doesn’t rush through the story and gives each of his characters their own voice. As he was narrating, James managed to stir all kinds of emotions and opinions in me, some good, some bad, about what was happening between Siv and Walter. I don’t think I could have finished listening to the story if anyone but Tristan James had done the performance. I mean, the man could read names out of the phone book and his voice would have me riveted.
All in all, Still is an interesting listen. It’s the story of the way two people rediscover each other and heal the sore spots in their marriage, and though Still frustrated me, I would recommend the audiobook to those fans who can’t get enough of Mary Calmes’s stories.
You can buy Still here: