Here’s to creativity’s ability to make an uncomfortable emotion useful ~ Jill Badonsky
First of all, I got to research all the Bible verses that were part of that section. As a lifelong Christian, I got to reacquaint myself with some of the Bible’s most beautiful verses. Many of those verses and their interpretation are the culmination of listening to many of the pastors listed in the dedication at the front of the novel. I also learned some new verses and worked those in with my own (and therefore, Leander’s) wicked perception of their meanings.
I didn’t just get to lean on my favorite verses about love and acceptance. I had to look at the other verses that people use against GLBT people. I had to put aside my own bias regarding their archaic placement and usage and glean meaning for the minor characters. To make the novel balanced and not so preachy, I had to make their arguments just as strong and clear as Leander’s. I hope I did that justice.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Title: Disappear With Me
Author: L. Dean Pace-Frech
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 261 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Love is greater than hope or faith, but can Reverend Leander Norris convince a jury that the love he shares with another man is natural?
In 1910, the United Kingdom was in turmoil. King Edward died after only nine years on the throne. The social class system that upheld British society for centuries was being chipped away by social, political, and economic unrest across the Commonwealth. Amidst this backdrop, Reverend Leander Norris is accused of sodomy. After discovering his own self-worth and unconditional love, Leander finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right and pleads not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Leander’s past is revealed, including the temptations that bring the accusations against him. By the end of the trial, Leander is once again reunited with a romantic interest from the past; it may be too late to rekindle any love that might remain, given the circumstances of the era and Reverend Leander’s likely sentence.
Review: L. Dean Pace-Frech delivers a heart-wrenching lesson in history in Disappear With Me, the story of a man who is caught between religion, love, and the law in the days following the end of King Edward VII’s reign.
The Reverend Leander Norris is a man who stands accused of sodomy in a time when the only basis for a gross indecency trial, and an almost certain conviction, the judicial system needed was an accusation. Told through a series of flashbacks, the narrative offers the reader a glimpse into Leander’s coming-of-age as an orphan whose lessons included studying the Bible, chapter and verse. The author peppers those verses throughout the book to bring home his message and demonstrate how readily interpretation of biblical text can be a rather divisive thing when it’s used to justify both love and intolerance.
The emotional tenor of Disappear With Me is incredibly poignant, made all the more so because of the time in which this story is set, and I applaud Mr. Pace-Frech for not resorting to the deus ex machina to manufacture an ending to the book that would’ve conflicted with that setting. Leander’s own personal convictions and his faith in an unconditionally loving God impart so much emotion in this novel, and it’s his strength and courage to face his accusers, in spite of the near certainty he won’t be found innocent, that resonates so deeply and left me on the verge of tears so frequently. Though Leander is a fictional character, it’s the author’s own faith that shines through in the telling of his story, and it’s with that in mind that I couldn’t help but embrace Leander for his bravery and his want of something more than just a momentary physical bond with someone.
What is inarguable in Disappear With Me is that Reverend Leander knew great love in his life in spite of a puritanical society—a young and ultimately challenged love with Raphael that couldn’t endure the strain of necessary discretion; an eleven year relationship that was a marriage in every way but legally; and the affair that was finally Leander’s downfall as he stood accused of the crime of wanting a love of his own, and then refusing to deny that he’d loved deeply.
While the end of this book doesn’t offer a traditional happy ending, what it does offer is a promise, the hope that Leander could become an agent for change and the hope that he will be offered a second chance at a love to call his own, something everyone deserves.
You can buy Disappear With Me here:
About the Author: With inspiration from some historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, L. Dean Pace-Frech started crafting his debut novel, A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, he submitted it for publication and Musa Publishing offered him a contract in early 2013. DISAPPEAR WITH ME is his second novel.
Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his partner, Thomas, and their two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean enjoys reading and patio gardening.
Prior to novels, Dean did some technical writing in his career. He plans to write a sequel to both A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN and DISAPPEAR WITH ME.