- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Interlude Press (April 7, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 194153063X
- ISBN-13: 978-1941530634
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,589,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Black Dust Paperback – April 7, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
In this moving and heartfelt contemporary, Charles (Chef's Table) beautifully chronicles the chaos that results from heartbreak and the agonizing efforts one must make to heal after tragedy... Readers will agonize, sympathize, and empathize all the way from the beginning of their journey to the end. --Publishers Weekly
Armed with a sweetness that reaches the heart, Charles' poignant novel aligns two distressed souls. Music bonds them together and gives them strength individually as Toby and Emmett renew their spirits in her compelling story. --RT Book Reviews/Romantic Times
About the Author
Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she's not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef's Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.
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No matter what Tobias or Emmett did or accomplished in that 15 years, the love they had for one another was never lost.
Through trial and error, through their love of music and their even deeper love for one another they find their home again. With each other.
I highly recommend this heartbreaking, heartwarming love story. Because I did enjoy this talented author's story so much, I immediately downloaded her first novel, Chef's Table. I'm just a short way into it but I know it will be just as engrossing and unforgettable as Black Dust.
Kudos, Lynn Charles. Well done.
I finally figured out my problem with this book when I got to the ending and realized I know almost nothing about Toby, and a good 2/3 of what I know about Emmett is he's whiny, self-righteous, and too much like his mom for his own good (although not very self-aware beyond a couple points). I don't know why these two are together in the present because, by necessity, so much time is spent on the past. There's very little meat here, and very little development to the characters or their re-connection; other than their shared loves in music and TV, don't know at all what makes them tick or brought them together. It's a long book, but it leaps from plot point to plot point in the present, and the characters repeat themselves over and over again until the end.
Spoilers: For example, I'm not even sure why/how exactly Emmett came to be teaching or what happened with Toby and his family (supposedly the accident and what ensued brought his parents to divorce, but in the more than a year this novel covers, he never does more than mention them or the sister I was shocked to find out in the middle of the book he had.) I liked the idea of this plot a lot, but the characters are thin. Paper thin. Bullet point thin. Emmett gets pushy and wants the world organized to his whims (including Toby), and Toby runs. That's about the sum total of what I know about these two in their adult incarnations. In the end, I just couldn't enjoy this one, and I wouldn't recommend it.
Chef's Table, though, that one I wholeheartedly say... read.
Fifteen years later, Emmett is a high school choir teacher with a passion for his students’ success, and Toby (who now goes strictly by Tobias) travels around the country directing orchestras in varying shows and works on his own score when he’s at home. When Emmett’s high school choir heads to New York to perform, he decides to put his Toby memories to bed with a formal goodbye, but when he realizes his feelings are still just as strong as they were all those years ago, that may not be possible. Tobias’ love for Emmett has never waned, but he is holding some deep secrets that no one knows about - not even his beloved Emmett, and that could destroy any chance they have to be together.
I absolutely loved this book. I am a first time Lynn Charles reader, and I was quite impressed with what I saw. She delicately handles Tobias’ PTSD without ever calling it such, and the story is sweeter for all the struggles the characters face. With a strong plot centering around healing, acceptance, and growth, she seamlessly weaves a tale born of heartbreak, loss, shame, and anger into a touching narrative of restoration and the dogged pursuit of happiness.
The peripheral cast is well written, including overzealous high school girls and brilliantly wonderful friends as well as antagonistic and snarky dialogue that will have you by turns laughing and then seething. Angst is strong in this book, so if you’re looking for light and fluffy, this isn’t your book.
The only issue I had with the book was that the pacing was all over the place. It skipped weeks and then months, and even though each section tells you exactly how long it’s been, I found it hard to track.
If you’re looking for a realistic story of healing and love, grab this! You won’t regret it!
***ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Read and reviewed by Cat from Alpha Book Club.***
Emmett and Toby are both such realistic characters who are full of flaws. I felt like I could relate to each of them in different ways, and I was rooting so hard for them as a couple. Lynn has crafted such a beautiful story with some pain and sadness, but also so much heart. And music! God, the way she writes about music. I swear I could hear it coming off the pages. I was so sad when I finished it. I found myself going back to read a few parts over again and thinking about it for several more days.