Title: Chase This Light
Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 117 Pages
At a Glance: This was a lovely novella. Sweet, but not too sweet.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: When Jason Flores moves to the Yukon for a new job, he’s not sure what to expect. His son Micah seems enchanted by the wildlife, but his recent fear of the dark means that the eighteen-hour nights in the winter will be a difficult adjustment. When Jason takes Micah to the local museum’s interactive lecture series on the gold rush, it turns out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
Pete Odjick, a tattooed First Nations and Inuit man, dresses up for the weekly lectures as Skookum Jim, one of the first prospectors to find gold. He takes an immediate interest in Micah and an even bigger interest in Jason.
As their flirtation grows into something more serious, Jason’s job at a big name oil company and Pete’s volunteer work with an environmental group become a point of contention. Can they come to an understanding and give Micah a family again? Or will the drastic differences between them tear them apart? As the winter nights grow longer, Pete and Jason worry their love won’t be enough to chase the darkness away.
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Review: What a cute story! Sometimes a bit of light romance is just what the doctor ordered, and that was exactly the case for me with this book. The story was very simple and straightforward, there are really no surprises here, but that was part of the joy of this quiet little read. To be honest, I was nervous when I requested this book. It was my first time reading Francis Gideon; sometimes novellas can be tricky—can the author tell enough story in those pages to make it satisfying?—and I worried it would be too schmaltzy. I’m happy to report that I needn’t have worried.
I truly enjoyed both Jason and Pete, especially Pete! Both characters were well-developed, with interesting backstories and solid, likeable personalities. Again, Pete even more so than Jason. Do I sound like I’m playing favorites? Ok, Pete was my favorite. There. I said it. Heh. Tattooed, intelligent, handsome man who loves kids? Jason would have been a fool to not be doing everything he could to snag this guy. But, in spite of their obvious attraction and desire to get to know each other, things are complicated. Jason’s job at the oil company and Pete’s activism are two things that may not be able to be reconciled, no matter how many other things they have in common.
Besides Pete, for me the star of the book was the Yukon and all of the fabulous details the author included on the environmental issues, the people and the community, and all of the wonderful Native American culture that is still so important there. I loved that Pete was Inuit and First Nations, and that he taught Jason and Micah what that meant. The environmental part of the storyline was actually quite fascinating, and Gideon did a good job of building up the conflict, and then resolving it. I will say right now, though, if I was Pete, I would have been sooo much angrier at Jason for how he acted. But, having said that, the author did recognize that the way Jason treated Pete was complete bullshit, and the smoothing over of feelings and things was done quite well.
Aside from the major parts of the storyline, there were lots of little details in the book that were so charming. One example: the rocket night light that was Jason’s, that he kept with him throughout various foster home placements and then gave to Micah so he wouldn’t be so scared of the dark. *swoon* There are others, but I don’t want to give them away…you guys should go and discover them for yourselves.
This was a lovely novella. Sweet, but not too sweet. There was some beautiful language and imagery, and a nice takeaway message. I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for something short and sweet and something a little different.
You can buy Chase This Light here: