Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.
The people here know certain things as fact:
Amorea is the best little town there is.
The only good Commie is a dead Commie.
The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.
And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.
But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.
Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.
Review: Mike Frazier finds himself alone on a country road, unsure of where he is, or even who he is. As he makes his way down the road, his only encounter is with a horse before coming across a town sign for Amorea declaring that Happiness Lives Here! Mike remembers he also lives there: in the sleepy, friendly little town where he owns a bookstore, he’s thirty-six, it’s 1954, and his best friend is Sean Mellgard. Sean is twenty-three, works at the diner as a server and Mike walks him home after work every night. They have slowly been building towards being something more than just friends for the past three years, and it’s feeling like that turning point in their relationship is finally ready to be acted upon. Much to the delight of the rest of the townsfolk, who have taken a friendly interest in their romance. Mike has a wonderful life with good friends and a burgeoning romance with a man he adores above all else. He is happy in Amorea, life is good.
A sense of unease was created from the time we are first introduced to Mike and continued to subtly build as little incidents hinted at a different reality against the backdrop of a seemingly perfect life. While this review is going to be relatively short, it isn’t because I don’t have lots of things I’d love to say about it. I don’t want to give any more details because it would be very easy to accidentally give spoilers away, but suffice it to say that theories abounded and I enjoyed the mystery and trying to figure out what was really going on. Some of my theories got close, and some were way off, but the premise was clever and interesting, and the execution of it was superbly done.
Although I wouldn’t consider Murmuration a romance, I can understand why the author calls it the most romantic thing he’s written. The relationship between Mike and Sean is genuinely sweet and they melted my heart with their slowly blossoming romance. There is literally nothing Mike wouldn’t do for Sean. The writing in this book is amazing. The build up of all the different elements was well balanced and made the story a real page turner. There was a feeling of unease that underlaid everything, yet the romance between Mike and Sean was focused on just enough to stop the story from tipping over into a dark, heavy read. It ran that line between delicious, tension filled mystery and beautiful, sweet romance to perfection. The author has a real talent for creating complex characters that are believable and relatable even in extraordinary situations. Murmuration is a fascinating and different read with great characters and a beautiful romance along with the mystery and thought-provoking premise, and I loved every moment of it.