Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"On a Bruised Road" Is Pepper Espinoza's Best Yet

When I was a teenager, I picked up a novel about a girl falling in love with a ghost. It was an interesting premise, but I was disappointed quickly as it turned out the boy wasn't really a ghost. He was simply disembodied while in a coma and the story ended with an all too predictable awakening and true love was found.

On a Bruised Road is about a ghost, too. There is very little predictable about it.

Edwin Masters has been obsessed with a car for decades, a 1962 Alfa Romeo Spider 2600. It's not the type of vehicle car buffs obsess over, but Edwin isn't himself a car buff. His reasons for wanting that particular car aren't revealed right away, but from the moment he slips behind the wheel of the one he's buying his life will never be the same again.

Why? Because decades before, the very year that Edwin was born, Cooper James died in that car. And he never left it.

So it seems like it's the setup for a tragic story of love across the boundaries of life and death and, yes, there are most definitely tragic moments. It also manages to be terrifying, hilarious and downright philosophical.

As Cooper is beginning to ever so delicately worm his way into Edwin's life, another man is entering it. Carson Heston is a much younger man--26 to Edwin's 47--but the two share a connection from the beginning that Espinoza captures beautifully.

As the story continues, Edwin is torn between Carson and Cooper. It's not a typical love triangle, though. One man draws him towards his future, the other his past. One offers hope and redemption, the other obsession and the ultimate of escapes.

The book could have copped out at a number of points, but it never does. It makes for a great romance, but as a novel about one man's struggles with accepting his own past and the uncertainty of the future it is phenominal.

On a Bruised Road is available for download at Loose Id.

1 comment:

Reh.♥ said...