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Jacob and Noah Garrett are brothers harboring a lifelong resentment towards each other while dealing with their own compulsive obsessions. One is a liberal gay man who forsakes his family and moves to New York City from Tennessee where he travels deep into a labyrinth of sex and drugs while fighting the fear over his homosexuality. The other is a southern conservative who is left at home holding the proverbial family bag.
The story follows their loosely intertwined lives through the wild times of the late seventies and the restraint of the Reagan years in which one brother ends up becoming a minister and preaching his doctrine while the other believes there are some things people are born with and not meant to change. Well with My Soul is told through the perspective of both brothers and shows how misguided choices can drastically affect those around you for years to come; and family may be all that one has when looking for peace to stifle the embers that smolder beneath the surface.
I'm pretty sure the guy on the cover is Jacob Garrett. He's a good looking gay-man who believes he is destined for greatness. He talks his boyfriend into moving from Tennessee to New York so he can be famous. He is successful as a male model, but can't catch a break in acting. Actually if he'd bother to tone down his ego and lay off the booze and pills, he may have made it.
Noah, on the other hand is a good ol' boy who stays back in Tennessee with their mother, who dies of lung cancer after a few years. Noah, not wanting to be in that small town either, moves to Nashville and finds work. He also starts writing, and turns out he has a great deal of talent. When his career takes off, Noah ends up in New York as well, happy to be living closer to his brother. Family is a big theme in this book.
After nearly dying, Jacob trades coke for Jesus. The going back and forth between brothers highlights what a self centered person Jacob really is, even after sobering up. It's who he was from the beginning, and he breaks the hearts of everyone around him. The addiction was played out perfectly here, because he never truly is cured. He gives it up, but the behavior that led him there remains.
Truly this is a heartbreaking story, but I couldn't put it down. So even though it made me sad, it is a great story.
Head over to Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom to enter the contest to win this baby!