Just discovered another wonderful review for Bashert. Thank you Gay List Book Reviews! I'm so glad you love Jonah and Aaron as much as I do. Review and link is below.
Up All Night Satisfaction
Blurb: Is it possible to be a good Jew and a gay man?
Not for Jonah Stern. He can’t reconcile his faith with his attraction to boys, so he turns his back on Judaism. A college scholarship is Jonah’s ticket to freedom from his disapproving parents. Next step: losing his virginity to Christian, the blue-eyed blond man of his dreams.
Instead, Jonah has a fateful meeting with Aaron Blumberg and ends up celebrating Hanukkah. Aaron tells him they’re bashert—meant to be. But Jonah has doubts. He believes his lack of faith will create a wedge between them. It’s up to Aaron to bridge the gap and convince Jonah to take a leap of faith.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming”.
Beans: It always makes me sad, either in fiction or in real life, when someone loses their faith because of a hate response. This story was no different. Jonah is young, hurt and grieving the loss of a close relationship with his family, his faith, and the life he has known forever.
He is fleeing everything he knows and is trying to find sex to ease some of the pain. He is busy searching for a good hookup when he sees someone in trouble.
I admired greatly that Jonah had the personal fortitude to stand up for Aaron when he was in distress. Then I greatly admired Aaron for recognizing Jonah’s pain, not downsizing it, but also not allowing it to decrease his joy of his faith.
It was a unique advent story. I loved the pursuit of Jonah, and the beautiful gift of a burgeoning friendship that could turn into more. Maybe even healing.
Nina: Reconciling a devout faith that claims what your heart, mind and body say you need is wrong, would be terrible. Add in parental rejection and a huge life change like attending university and a young man could find himself feeling very isolated and confused.
I was so glad that Jonah kept coming back to Aaron, that he allowed the yearnings to reconnect with his past and with this intriguing man to bring him once again to Aaron’s door night after night of the holiday celebrating hope and the bringing of light to guide his people.
Sweet, charming and hopeful I enjoyed this sweet story of Hanukkah and finding love and faith even when you have given up.