Book Review: A Hidden Beauty by Jamie Craig

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This title has already been reviewed on Speak Its Name so can’t put it there, but I recently bought a copy so thought I’d tap my thoughts out.

First off – it’s one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen, and certainly won my vote of “Best m/m cover of the year” last year. It’s just gorgeous.

The story involved Micah Yardley who is a young undergraduate at Harvard studying literature – words are his passion—he pours all his love and hormones into them. He’s recognised as a possible great talent by his tutors and so when he asks for a mini sabbatical to go and visit his Idol, the poet Jefferson Dering in a town a few hours away,  he is granted this, despite the objections of his rich and controlling family.

Micah is already half in love with Jefferson through his words, but he hasn’t woken sexually and is unaware that he’s homosexual

and when he sees Dering, he mistakes the feelings he has for hero worship and an adoration of the man’s talent (part of it is this, of course, but part of it isn’t.)

The story proceeds pretty much as expected, but what sets this aside from many m/m stories is the prose, the beautifully “in tone” language of the novel'; lush and sounding very much as if it were written in the time, rather is about the time—this is always my favourite kind of book to explore. When the love affair blossoms, it’s touching, sensual and gradual, all interspersed with this lovely prose.  I didn’t think much of the poetry, but then I am a heathen and have no taste.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and it’s a definite keeper—the only one quibble I have, which would grant it a four stars for me if I were reviewing this on SIN was that I didn’t really “get” the whole subplot involving the church. It didn’t seem to add anything to the plot and if you can lift a subplot out without causing a ripple, it doesn’t really work.  I had a feeling that Dering’s past tragic love was involved in the church, rather than the way it turned out, but it didn’t happen like that, and it all seemed a bit tenuous. However I’m very glad I bought it and it is a Keeper for me.

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