Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Terry O'Reilly - Walking in Two Worlds

Lee Masters is fired from his cattle drive when his sexual orientation is discovered. Frustrated and angry, he rides to a mountain lake where he meets Running Buffalo, Tatanka, who is also exiled from his tribe for refusing to adhere to tribal custom for braves who prefer men to women. They strike up a friendship, which readily turns to love. Their family is completed when a young Indian, Sleeps With Dogs, insists they take him with them on their search for a home. Where can they find the acceptance they seek? Will they always be Walking In Two Worlds?

Comment: This is one of the many m/m stories I've had piled up, or should I say kept in one folder in my PC, for years. Since I've realized I would enjoy reading this sub-genre of sorts I started collecting" books but as always, it wouldn't be easy to actually grab them and read them. I blindly picked a book and this is it.

In this story we follow Lee Masters, a cowboy who's been fired as soon as his co workers found his sexual preferences. He has been riding with no destination and in one of his stops he meets Tatanka, an Indian who doesn't seem to mind to share a blanket with him. They fall in love and start looking for some place to be together in peace but in their journey they stay for a while in Tatanka's village and sort of adopt a child. They move on again and find some work in a city where they are mostly well treated until they are discovered by their preferences. Will they ever find a place or are they condemned to be part of two separate worlds?

I won't take too long... this book has an interesting concept and interesting details but for the most part, its execution wasn't up to my personal preferences...the story is divided into many parts, the narrative suffers an interruption quite often and the plot itself isn't well done.
I think it's one of those cases where the writing isn't helping an already weak plot.

I liked how Lee and Tatanka had their ideas about how happiness should be lived and it annoyed me a lot that they didn't feel free - nor where they - to be in love in the open. I also liked how they stayed with one another despite everyone and society as a rule not accepting them as a couple.
But there were problems too.

First of all, they claim to be in love too soon! And truly believing it. I suppose there's a certain level of inferring and almost spiritual aura in this novel - and not only because of the Native American elements in the story - but to just take being in love as fact after one night of sex is too much for my credibility acceptance.
Then, at some point, Lee finds himself in a situation that I simply don't understand why it had to happen. It didn't add anything to the plot, it's redundant and avoidable and if it's not serving any reasonable purpose why should we be reading it?

Throughout the book the writing doesn't get better. I struggled to understand some actions and decisions they made and I wasn't always convinced the way things were going was the best one.
Many readers speak of inconsistency and I have to agree, many things (and characters) don't seem to follow any sort of rules about anything. It's frustrating. I also don't know why they should act like that and why we should think it's fine for them to explain things later. To me, this is too superficially written.

Lee and Tatanka are interesting characters, Tatanka especially. I liked reading about his tribe's characteristics and rules and how things work within the hierarchy. I liked the simplicity of his thinking and the beauty of his spirit. But as part of a couple with Lee they were average.
Lee has a good thing, he's naturally suspicious and afraid of being rejected but somehow his actions in dealing with others or in certain situations didn't seem very plausible.

In the end I was just hoping to have a more well structured and executed story but despite the positive things I could glimpse, it wasn't enough to make it much better than not good enough for me.
Grade: 4/10

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