Book Reviews

Murmuration by TJ Klune at BOATK Books

Genre Gay / Historical / Science Fiction / 20th Century / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 15-November-2019

Book Blurb

In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.

The people here know certain things as fact:

Amorea is the best little town there is.

The only good Commie is a dead Commie.

The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.

And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.

Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.

But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.

Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, October 2016.

Book Review

"On October 28th, 2016, I will give you a story of which I have two strong opinions about.
First, this is the most romantic thing I’ve ever written.
Second, this being the fifth and final book I am releasing this year, I’m truly of the mind that I’ve saved the best for last.
My hope is that once you’ve read this story, those opinions will become yours as well."
~ TJ Klune, blog post dated September 20, 2016

I realize in this last year, especially in regards to this author's work, that in my reviews I've had to be rather circumspect to prevent spoilers. In that regard I can assure you that 'Murmuration' is the most difficult review I've ever written mainly because of the threat of spoilers. In fact, this may be the shortest review of a Klune book I have ever written because I can only share with you how it made me feel.

In the beginning I kept feeling as if I was in the movie 'The Truman Show' because I kept anticipating walking around a corner and seeing the real that my mind was positive was there. At the same time the birds, the starlings, reminded me of Stephen King's 'The Dark Half' as did some of the writing style and a piece of the characters. And then, suddenly, I thought I was in the movie 'Pleasantville', or worse yet I was reliving 'Normal Again' an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Sean and Mike charmed me. The fact that they've been flirting and Mike has been courting Sean for three years, always knowing they had plenty of time to get where they were going, is probably one of the most romantic friends to lovers I have ever read. Everything is swathed in an innocence that isn't around anymore. It’s the 1950s in America when life was wondrous, joy was everywhere, and hope still existed. Mike and Sean waited three years before going on their first date even though they both knew they'd get there eventually. There are gilded, bright colors to everything and the air has a crispness you can taste.  Life is slow and oh so perfect in Amorea, and Mike and Sean have a love as old as time.

"Mike knows that time is against them. That this won’t last forever. That one day, and maybe one day soon, one of them will be gone like they never existed at all. Maybe they’ll be lucky and go at the same time. Maybe they won’t. One day, it will happen."

I realize this is probably the vaguest review I've ever written. Believe me when I say, if your mind is open to endless possibilities, if you're not constrained to only liking one genre, and if you can dare to dream, then you need to read this book. I read a lot and I read across a wide spectrum of genres, rarely sticking to only one. There are few things that will make me love a book more than feelings. If an author is gifted enough to bring out disbelief, hope, desire, fear, anxiety, grief, and more love than you can imagine, then in my honest opinion I believe that someday down the road high school children will be required to read ‘Murmuration’ as part of their curricula. All I can say now is that I truly believe TJ Klune has only touched the tip of the iceberg with his writing and I’m forever grateful to be there to experience the rest of it. Thank you for the feelings.

"But know this: the basis of this book—it’s foundation—came from a simple question I asked myself: how far would a person choose to go for the one they loved?"
~ TJ Klune, blog post dated September 20, 2016





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 321 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 04-November-2019
Price $5.99 ebook
Buy Link