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The Dreams You Made in the Dirt by Lisa…

The Dreams You Made in the Dirt

by Lisa Henry

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Some stories capture me because of creative world building, some because of the characters, and some because of circumstances or events that fire my imagination. ‘The Dreams You Made in the Dirt’ did all three, in an entirely unexpected way.

The world Cole and Aiden inhabit may look and feel a lot like planet Earth in the early twenty-first century, but at the same time it is an entirely different place. Picture the middle of nowhere, Australia, a small town that is slowly falling apart, people living in poverty and despair, with no way out unless they manage to get into college. Aiden has lived there all his life, and has been cruelly abused by his father as long as he can remember, but especially after his mother ran away when he was still very young. And yet, like all victims of abuse, he thinks that his father/abuser still somehow loves him, and anyway, he has nowhere else to go. He left school early, has been told and now believes he is “dumb as shit”, and on top of everything else, he is attracted to boys – a total no-no in his father’s and older brothers’ minds.

Cole is slightly better off, but he is a former military man, suffers from PTSD, and only wants to hide. His dead Uncle Harry’s house seems to be a good place to do that, until his car breaks down, Aiden ends up in his field beaten half to death because his father discovered he is gay, and Cole is suddenly responsible for an eighteen-year-old who is in dire need of a strong, reliable man to protect him not just from his family but from his own misconceptions.

As these two broken men slowly get to know each other, thanks to Aiden’s refusal to go to a hospital or involve the police, they also begin to bond. They both have horrible nightmares, but can help each other fight their demons. Cole opens Aiden’s eyes about his chances in the outside world, and Aiden loves taking care of someone who appreciates his efforts. But the evil father lives within a few miles, and he is not yet done with Aiden… My heart broke for both of them, but I loved the careful, gentle way in which they learned how to take care of each other.

If you like sad stories that make you think there is no hope, only to miraculously show you how it is never too late to fight for a better life, if two desperately lonely men who have suffered much abuse pique your interest, and if you’re looking for a read that might make you cry for all that has gone wrong, only to turn around to put a smile of relief on your face, then you will probably like this free novella. I think it is amazing!
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  SerenaYates | Oct 19, 2017 |
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