Title: Arrows Through Archer
Author: Nash Summers
Length: 264 Pages
At a Glance: I loved everything about this story. From the insanely beautiful backdrop of Banff, to the wonderful characters, and the exquisite, poetic words of the author.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: After the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.
Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.
Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.
But love isn’t always easy, especially when it strikes you straight through the heart.
Possible triggers/tags: grief, loss, age difference, family, loss, mentions of suicide, recovery, hurt/comfort, homophobia
Review: “Grief is love’s unwillingness to let go.” ~ Unknown
I honestly don’t know where to begin. Nash Summers has once again stunned me with her words. Arrows Through Archer truly was everything I hoped it would be—a gorgeous, heartbreaking, thoughtful, and ultimately hopeful story about two men, who, together, have a shot at happiness. Something neither of them expected to really have again.
Nash Summers warned her readers, “this might sting a bit.” She wasn’t lying. It did. My heart hurt so much for Archer, and later for Mallory as well, for pretty much the entire book. I think the blurb put it perfectly—Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Consumed. His every waking moment is filled with the pain of the loss of his parents. His lone goal is to honor their memory by making them proud—his mother by finishing college and majoring in business, and his father by going into law enforcement and becoming a sharpshooter. It’s not enough that he unexpectedly lost his parents, though…Archer’s situation was made infinitely worse by the rejection and harsh words from his older brother on the same day he learns of their deaths.
One consistent, bright spot in Archer’s life is his friend Danny. I loved Danny’s character so much. He has stood by Archer, or Ace, as he calls him, through everything, has been there for him no matter what. He pretty much has legendary best friend status as far as I’m concerned. And as far as Archer is concerned as well…
…I hated Danny and loved him so damn much. He was the only good thing in my life. I had no idea what I’d done to luck out with a friend like him, but I knew I didn’t deserve him. I didn’t deserve his understanding. And, it was that twisting feeling in my gut that made me hate him—hate him for being one of the only reasons the pieces of me were held together.
Danny wants so badly for Archer to be happy. He doesn’t realize that his invitation to come home with him for Thanksgiving, and introducing Archer to his father, would be the catalyst for that possibly becoming a reality.
Danny’s father, Mallory, is still dealing with his own pain from the loss of his wife a few years prior. He and Archer recognize a bit of themselves in each other, I think, and really just…click when they meet. I absolutely adored Mallory. He was kind and gentle and quiet and contemplative, much like Archer. While they were both very much aware, especially as they felt the draw between them gaining momentum, that they were Danny’s father, and Danny’s best friend, respectively, neither defined the other person in terms of their relationship to Danny. Mallory was able to simply see Archer. The beautiful, intriguing young man who had come into his life. Likewise, Archer simply saw Mallory. Not Danny’s dad. Sometimes it’s impossible to explain how you fall in love with someone, or when it started…but, it was beautiful to watch it happen between these two. I loved this:
People fall into each other in different ways. Some people fall together in laughter, surrounded by energy and joy. Some fall into each other in passion, unable to keep their skin from touching.
But Mallory and I fell into each other slowly, gently, tentatively, like almost everything we did. We were quiet and fluid.
The road is not an easy one for these guys, though. Of course. *side eyes Nash* There is so much baggage, and the age gap—and partly that it’s his son’s best friend—is difficult for Mallory to ignore. Do they work it out?? Is new love, and a chance at happiness enough? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
I’ll leave you with this:
A simple word for something that felt magnitudes larger. Happiness is something I’d taken for granted up until my parents died. And, then after, I’d convinced myself it wasn’t something I’d ever feel again.
But here, in a town built between the mountains, standing next to my best friend’s father, I knew that I truly did feel happy.
That was a lovely bit from Archer’s POV, which we get in the first half. We get Mallory’s in the second. So…we know Archer was happy at least at some point in the first half. You’ll have to read to see if things stay that way. 😉
I loved everything about this story. From the insanely beautiful backdrop of Banff, to the wonderful characters, and the exquisite, poetic words of the author. I highly recommend it, and would happily read it again.
You can buy Arrows Through Archer here: