Silver Scars: beautiful, painful, worthwhile
Posy Roberts’ Silver Scars is the last of the novels from my “inner” circle of GRL friends that I wanted to read. And while she is the latest addition to our little clique, and I honestly attest to knowing her the least, I was still surprised by this book. It is the very opposite to my perception of the happy, bubbly personality of Posy. Silver Scars is heavy, it gets underneath your skin, where it lingers and works its magic. It changes you, it affects your mood (not always to the better I have to admit), and it won’t let you go. This is a book that will stay with you, for a long time.
Silver Scars is the story of my fellow Arizonan Gil and Minnesotan Keith. Gil, a lawyer, suffers from PTSD, after having almost lost his life in an explosion. Keith, having been shot in a freak incident, is in risk of losing his one lower leg to an amputation. These two men, both “broken” (I’m not a big fan of the word, but hey, it does the job), find each other, and in, and with each other, they find the strength to fight their way back to a full(er) life. So much the ark story.
I hope you’ll forgive me if I run a couple of comparisons between this story and the one I’m currently working on, because I can’t avoid it, because the way Posy writes, the way she weaves her story is so intricately different from my own writing, that I just need to tell you. On the surface, very little actually happens in Silver Scars and the year or so it takes from the first page to the last. Gil meets Keith, eventually moves in with him, the end. But boy, let me tell you, you have to fight for every page. You can’t just turn a page and get away with it. No, Posy makes you earn those page turns, and she describes the events unfolding from that first flight from Phoenix until the final pages in painstaking detail, which is funny, because in my writing, I do the opposite.
Example: When Keith finally has to amputate his leg, Posy describes the process of healing in great detail, to the point that I sometimes silently begged “are you done yet?” only to discover there was another chapter to it, and another. In my coming book, Jonathan’s Promise, [spoiler alert!] I describe an amputation, too, but I get through the operation and the healing in a couple of chapters, and trust me, the medical aspects are insignificant. For me, it is the relationship between the characters that is at the core of my storytelling. For Posy it’s the inner struggle, the fight for control, to live again, much more than the interpersonal relationships that are at the core of her work. This isn’t meant in a critical way, it’s just a preference, and I found it extremely enlightening to read someone with a completely different outlook on storytelling. Posy treats her interpersonal relationships as I do the healing, e.g. the relationship between Keith’s best friend Erica and Gil. It’s mentioned. Period. In that sense, Posy and I complement each other. If you’re interested in learning more about some of the medical stuff described in my books, I’ll simply turn you over to Doctor Posy. She’ll tell you all about the angst, the anguish, the pain, the meds and the never-ending process. That is where she has her focus, on the inner struggle during that time.
I struggled with this book, which is not to say I didn’t like it, quite the contrary. But boy was I was glad when I was done. There is only so much introspective I can handle, and when we approached the second and final turning point, I was ready to give up. But Posy’s excellent handiwork forced me to press on and finish the book. It’s taken me three weeks to read it. Posy’s writing is like a whole-wheat loaf of bread, heavy, and chewy. You have to work to get through it. This isn’t your leisurely Sunday afternoon read. The topic of Silver Scars is diving deep into some of the most difficult aspects of our current society, that of psychologically damaged people, whatever the reason may be. In the States, with all its war veterans suffering from it, but PTSD isn’t just a soldier thing. It can happen to anyone, and if you know someone with this diagnosis, you should really read this book. You WILL get how they feel in the end, whether you want to or not, because trust me, the unique insight into Gil’s and Keith’s mind comes at a price. You won’t be able to put this book down and simply move on. No, Silver Scars is packing one hell of a wallop and it will stay with you for a very long time. It’s going to be a while before I can digest another book like this.
This isn’t a book for everyone, and if you have “triggers”, you should probably stay clear of it. In fact, walk as far away as you can, as there are more triggers in this book than I care to recall. However, if you think you can handle it, you’ll be reading one of the richest, detailed and heartfelt books I’ve read in a very long time. And I’ve gained a very different understanding of Posy Roberts, and I can’t wait to have a long one to one with her, next time we meet!
Have a great hump day!
PS: Posy had a new release last week (just like I did), and here’s a quick PSA on her behalf:
Farm Fresh by Posy Roberts.
Getting down and dirty never felt so clean.
Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.
And one particular farmer.
Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.
Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction, with a splash of MMM+
Length: Novel, 202 pages
Series: Naked Organic, book 1
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press