Title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Author: Addison Albright
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages/Word Count: 212 Pages
At a Glance: This is a gripping emotional story of two men who thought all was lost; then a miracle brings them back together.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.
The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well?
Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?
Review: What a story! This is a very emotional story told from the alternating first person POVs of our two main characters, Henry and Sam. Interwoven with the present day stories are flashbacks of Sam and Henry’s story—of meeting as coworkers, falling in love, buying their house, getting married, and then, Henry’s fateful research trip.
Sam and Henry are so happy together. They love their life together, and their home, and their family, and their jobs. They are college professors who have been together for a while, and while Sam isn’t thrilled that Henry will be away for the summer on a research trip, he can’t begrudge him the opportunity. Sam does insist that Henry sit as near the emergency exit row as possible. Little does Sam know that this is probably what saves Henry after the plane goes down over the Pacific.
The news of the plane crash devastates Sam. Even with his supportive family and co-workers, he cannot seem to move past Henry’s death. He has tried therapy and nothing has worked. As a last ditch effort, he tries a new Grief Recovery group, and lo and behold, he finally seems to be making progress—years after Henry’s plane crashed.
Meanwhile, miraculously, Henry and two other men, along with a young child, manage to make it to a deserted island after the crash. No one else who got out of the plane seemed to make it to the island. Henry had managed to hang on to the baby who was thrust into his arms by the mother, and he feels completely responsible for him from then on. Of course, not knowing the baby’s name, he begins calling him Buddy. Even though Henry wasn’t sure he wanted to be a father, he ends up being Buddy’s de facto parent on the island.
Luckily, because of Henry’s knowledge of the sea, and by luck of Sam’s specialty as well, Henry knows what is edible and usable on the island as food sources. There are some fruits and coconuts and, thankfully, a fresh water spring. They have one set of clothes each, and a baby that isn’t even close to being potty trained. The other two castaways are a college kid named Devon, and a salesman named Garrett. The adults do well enough with Garrett and Henry’s knowledge and skills and Devon’s muscle, but it’s really a full time job just to keep them fed and sheltered.
In the meantime, Sam finally is able to get some closure on Henry’s death, two years after the plane crash. He graduates from his Grief Recovery group and after another year, he’s able to think that maybe he can start living again. Then one fateful day he meets Nash, a nurse at the local hospital, and he chats him up. They begin a relationship and eventually become engaged. Then, shortly before their wedding, the bottom drops out.
Finally, after five years, Henry and his cohorts have been found. Sam cannot believe it. He has no idea what to do, as his wedding is just weeks away and now his husband is alive. And he’s wants to continue to raise Buddy, who only thinks of Henry as Papa. Nash is so very upset too, as his dream life is completely upended and there is nothing he can do about it.
No spoilers, but how all these men deal with the reality of the situation they are facing—five years separated, a child in question, a new fiancé—is pretty gut-wrenching. Sam’s family continues to stand by him, and Buddy is a cute and captivating presence. He’s finally identified and, of course, Henry has to figure out a way to deal with that as well, since his family wants to be involved. I really liked how the author dealt with all of this, and I appreciated that for the most part, everyone behaved like a responsible and thoughtful adult.
This book is just really well written. There was drama and suspense that is not manufactured, and sucked me in from the first page. I enjoyed all of the characters, including the large cast of supporting characters. I had only read short stories from this author in the past, but I’ll be looking for more longer works.
Definitely recommended for those who like a gripping and dramatic story with likeable characters who have to work for their happy ending.
You can buy ’Til Death Do Us Part here: