Whimsical, and brutal, bitter and kind, jaded and earnest – Trip Morgan is a incredibly nuanced, multi-faceted character that claims your heart even as you want to shout at him in frustration. He doesn’t pull any punches. From the first moment he tells of his unconventional birth, you realize he’s got more going on inside his head than he lets on. He keeps a tight rein on his emotions, in the nonchalant cool and distant way of someone so determined to feel nothing, because if they feel anything at all, they will feel everything.
He carries his bag of small wonders, little items he’s gleaned from the streets, nothing of any value to anyone but himself. They represent almost the sum total of everything he has in the world, the few things that cannot and will not be taken from him, a sense of security in a plastic bag.
The scenes from Trip’s point of view are written in a lyrical poetic rhythm. The rest of book maintains a tone of the quiet desperation that can be just trying to survive in the city, unscored by the deep love, devotion and dedication of a group of friends who discover “family” doesn’t have to be the one into which one is born. Their stories, as they unfold, are both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The love story is quiet and tentative and entirely believable.
This is a book that will make you ache, but not leave you a pile of mush. You might feel a lump in your throat, you might get goosebumps, you might laugh out loud, but no inconsolable weeping. Courtney Lux’s mastery of capturing the emotional heart of the scene is present on every page. She leaves you in a most realistic happy ending I’ve read in a long time – happy endings aren’t always riding off in to the sunset.
My only complaint is that this book ended. I want more of my boy Trip. Granted, I love to re-read books, but I have re-read this one at least four times since it landed in my lap. I find myself simply missing Trip and I go re-visit him again and again.
I give this book my highest review notation – I’m in an incredible book cheapskate, but I would buy this book, in hardcover, at full price, and feel like I got an incredibly good deal. This is an ideal book for anyone looking for beautifully told, realistic love story that doesn’t shy away from either the lows or highs of life.