Love Means Courage – Andrew Grey
Outline: Len Parker is laid off during the recession in the early eighties and decides to go back to college at home in rural Michigan, where he reconnects with his best friend from high school, Ruby. He’s overjoyed when she marries Cliff Laughton and overcome with sorrow when she dies an untimely death, leaving behind her husband and two-year-old son. Out of work again, Len finds a job at Cliff Laughton’s sorely neglected farm. Cliff is still mourning his wife, struggling to raise his son, and has little enthusiasm or energy left for work. Len immediately begins to whip the farm-including the two Laughtons-into shape. Working side by side, Len and Cliff grow ever closer, but loving another man takes a lot of courage. They’ll have to stand together as they face faltering business, threatening drought, misguided family, and Midwestern prejudices to protect what might be a lifelong love. Prequel to Love Means… No Shame
A good, solid read, masterfully written, and an invitation to more works by Andrew Grey.
Review by Gerry Burnie
“Love Means Courage,” Andrew Grey (Dreamspinner Press, 2009) is the first Andrew Grey novel I have read, but it definitely won’t be my last. Grey writes in a very straight forward narrative with just enough poetic description to make it colourful. I like that. I also like the way his characters are developed; strong, distinct and consistent throughout. Even two-year-old Geoff Laughton is a strong personality is his own way; although the phonetic baby-talk is a bit disconcerting at times.
I also like the way the story develops—especially the relationship between Len and Cliff. Everyone who has ever written a ‘coming out’ story will readily admit that it is a tricky business to get the mix of credibility and pace just right; too fast and it seems contrived; too slow and it appears coquettish. Happily, Grey strikes an agreeable balance.
Similarly, the events of the story unfold in a logical sequence, and with a fair amount of credibility going for them. This is particularly true of the faming scenes, which leads me to believe that Mr. Grey has spent some time on a farm in his background.
“Love Means Courage” is a good, solid read, masterfully written, and an invitation to more works by Andrew Grey.