Gerry B's Book Reviews

Transgressions by “Erastes”

Masterfully written as usual, and a very inspirational topic – Recommended

Publisher: Rnning Press Book Publishing

 

 

Story outline: 1642, England: David Caverly’s strict father has brought home the quiet, puritanical Jonathan Graie to help his dreamer of a son work the family forge. With war brewing in Parliament, the demand for metal work increases as armies are raised.

The fair David is drawn to his father’s new apprentice. And though his father treats them both as if they were brothers, David’s feelings toward the shy Jonathan develop as they hide their growing physical relationship. Until the fateful moment when local gossips force David’s father to banish him, to protect the family name.

Freed, directionless, and whimsical, David is eager to experience the drama and excitement of war, and follows two soldiers headed for battle, but the reality is a harsh awakening for his free-spirited nature. Seizing the opportunity to desert, David heads to London to lead a secret life, unaware that Jonathan too has left the forge in search of him. Lost and lonely, the vulnerable Jonathan quickly falls in with the Witchfinders, a group of extremists who travel the country conducting public trials of women suspected of witchcraft. Jonathan is drawn to the charismatic Michael, finally embracing a cause for truth so wholeheartedly, he doesn’t recognize the danger—physical and emotional—that Michael represents. For the fanatic puritan is desperate to purge Jonathan of his memories of David in any manner possible….

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Review by Gerry Burnie

The storyline of Eraste’s recent work, “Transgressions: A M/M romance,” (Running Press Book Publishers, 2009), has been well served by the product description, so I will cut directly to the elements of the story. 

To begin, all the protagonists—David Caverly, Johnathan Graie, and Tobias—are good, strong characters; well-defined and distinct. Likewise their personalities are distinct, and except where circumstances require it they remain consistent throughout. David, the indolent and ‘typical-teenager-type’ who matures under fire (literally), and who comes to seek and honour love over hedonism; Johnathan, the serious-minded-Puritan and wide-eyed innocent of sorts, who is mesmerized first by the more head-strong and charismatic David, and later by the possessive and sinister Michael; and the worldly Tobias who is content to screw his way through partners until he meets his “virgin farm boy.” All are quite believable, as well; although I did find Johnathan a bit hard to fathom at times.  

As usual Erastes has chosen a powerful atmosphere and setting in the English Civil War(s) (1641-1651), between the forces of Parliament and the Royalists; more specifically, between Oliver Cromwell and Charles I. It was a truly brutal conflict on both sides, with an estimated death toll—from all causes including war-related disease—of 190,000 individuals; or nearly 4% of the population. 

Socially, it was a brutal time as well, that divided families against one another, and afterward the so-called “Loyalists” were hunted down as outlaws. 

Erastes has also included the equally powerful and brutal practice of hunting witches. This was an ongoing religiously-sponsored atrocity that lasted until it was finally outlawed (in England) in 1735. Nevertheless, in spite of the dark era that all this represented, love prevailed. A celebration of the indomitable human will to find beauty in the midst of darkness. 

Masterfully written as usual, and a very inspirational topic.an absolute-must addition to your bookshelf. It would make a great gift for the kids as well!

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See a preview of Gerry Burnie’s forthcoming novel, “Coming of Age on the Trail” See some interesting “Related Images”; Read an excerpt

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April 15, 2010 - Posted by | Gay historical fiction, Uncategorized

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