Title: Restoring the Past
Author: M. Durango
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 103 Pages
At a Glance: While the character and plot development moved at an easy pace, with no rushed or dragging parts, I found it difficult to fully feel happy for Cal in the end.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: After thirteen years away, Cal’s returning home to bury his father and sell the family home. What he expects will be a straight-forward process is complicated by an unreasonable family, a dilapidated house in need of some serious TLC, a nosy neighbor, and – oh, yeah – his ex-boyfriend, Andy.
Just as things with Andy start to heat up, Cal’s world is thrown into further disarray when he uncovers long-hidden family secrets.
Suddenly forced to rethink everything he’s ever known, Cal has to decide between a second chance with Andy or the safety of his quiet life with no boyfriend, hundred-year-old house, or family complications. Is this a chance for them to start over – or is it a disaster in the making?
Previously released in March 2015 by Torquere Press
Review: Restoring the Past is the first book I’ve read by M. Durango, and I found it to be an enjoyable experience. In her book, she examines the life of a man who has made several life choices based on painful young adult experiences. His move away from home was an escape, not a natural choice. Through a wide cast of characters, we learn how different people in Cal’s circle view him and the ways they’ve handled his choices. As we learn more about each of Cal’s relationships, both familial and ex-lovers, the story of his younger years, his family history, and his motivation to stay away become clearer and clearer. From start to finish, the tension builds leading to the one question Cal really needs to answer; where is home?
While the character and plot development moved at an easy pace, with no rushed or dragging parts, I found it difficult to fully feel happy for Cal in the end. He was blessed with people who loved him. His father accepted Cal’s decisions, protecting him from guilt or a sense of imposed responsibility right up until the end of his life. Both of Cal’s exes were his friends, looking past the hurt that tore them apart in the past to help him with his current dilemma. What bothered me is how Cal allowed all of this to happen.
At one point Cal says, “I let my feelings for you – real or imagined – dictate where I lived and what I did. I let them keep me from coming home to visit my father. I made all those decisions based on something that happened when we were kids, instead of figuring out wat I really wanted now, in the present.” This sums Cal up for me. He was a good person with a good heart, but he’d taken the easy road and avoided the hard choices grownup people have to make.
If you view this as a happy-for-now, and can accept that Cal needs to do some soul searching before he’s truly ready to live a whole life, then the book hits the mark perfectly. The bad guys get their just rewards, the good guys come out on top, and maybe, if Cal has truly removed his head from his ass, he can live the fulfilled life he’d been hoping for since he was a kid.
You can buy Restoring the Past here: