There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. – Oscar Wilde
Jacob Timber moved from the US to London to further his studies and to get as far away as he possibly could from the father who’d rejected him for being gay. What he couldn’t have predicted was that once his studies and a relationship with the wrong man ended, he’d have, by then, fallen so irrevocably in love with the city that he can’t imagine ever leaving.
He couldn’t have predicted that scenario any more than he could’ve predicted he’d fall in love with a disembodied voice that flowed like honey from the radio airwaves and directly into his soul, no more than he’d have predicted he’d begin planning his work schedule around that voice or that he’d get the chance to put a face to it, and that face would be every bit as beautiful as he’d fantasized it would be.
A birthday wish comes true for Jacob when he gets the chance to meet Ethan Moore, a DJ at Indie Radio 113.9, in person, and they begin an affair that seems destined for a happily-ever-after, until Ethan makes a decision on Jacob’s behalf that spells nothing but betrayal and doom for their relationship.
Indie Radio 113.9 is the story of two men who meet by chance, love by choice, and lose by a circumstance that forced Ethan to choose between his job and his lover. It’s a story of the kind of loss that comes from misunderstandings, and of the pain that comes from silence and distance and the sort of self-preservation that’s based in the fear of hearing the truth, whatever that truth may be.
There’s a lot of sweetness and heartache in this short story and I liked Jacob and Ethan, though I feel it’s the sort of book that asks a bit much of the reader. There was a missing emotional connection for me, owed in large part to the telling of the story’s conflict rather than the showing of it. The story would’ve been much more effective for me if the characters had been allowed to be present in their own conflict rather than having it narrated as something that had already occurred in a far-off scene. For me, the telling caused a sense of disconnect, and that caused me to feel distanced from what Jacob and Ethan were going through.
Personal preferences aside, however, I did like the premise of the story a lot, the way the chance encounter played out and the way Jacob and Ethan’s reunion resonated in such a lovely and poignant way.