Book Review – Yesterday by Mickie Ashling

In June of 1978 Grady Ormond, eighteen-year-old son of diplomat Peter Ormond, accompanies his father to his new posting as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is on the brink of a civil war, with the monarchy in danger of being overthrown.

Grady will be leaving for New York City in late August to study cinematography and has been warned to keep his homosexual orientation tightly under wraps while on vacation. Repercussions in the predominantly Islamic region could be severe.

On their first night in Karachi, his father hosts a cocktail party to meet the local dignitaries. Grady is introduced to His Highness Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew of the shah of Iran. Twenty-three-year-old Kamran has recently returned from the UK, where he spent eleven years, first as a student, and then as a financial analyst.

The attraction is immediate—unforeseen and dangerously powerful—but neither one dares to make a move. Odds are so stacked against them it’s futile to even entertain a friendship, but they do, and their world tilts precariously.

With his country in turmoil and Grady about to leave for college, Kamran makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7257

Review:
Yesterday by Mickie Ashling brings home the dangers of being homosexual in a culture where it is not accepted. But it is not just about that. Kamran lives in a country which is on the brink of civil war, and given his status, is being groomed to take over once the monarchy is overthrown. Deciding to take his own path in life is not an option, and going against the wishes of those with power is just as dangerous as being true to himself in regard to his sexuality.

I liked the way the author portrayed Kamran’s culture. It was very obvious that she had done her research, and the background and setting also came across as very realistic. It was easy to imagine and vividly described. Kamran and Grady are two very different people with different backgrounds. Grady is naive, probably more so than someone of his age and education in today’s world, but it is important to remember that this is set in the late 1970s. There is no internet, and it was harder to find information then than it is now.

The friendship and relationship between the two was sweet, although fraught with danger. I thought the two men worked well together as characters, and the supporting case was well written and three dimensional too. I particularly liked Leyla, who is like a mother to Kamran, and Jon and Gus, the two men who risk their lives to keep the secret safe.

I thought the ending worked well and was realistic. The decision Kamran needs to make is not an easy one and I thought the consequences of it were portrayed well. Sometimes a HEA is not walking off into the sunset, and in a story like this I would have been disappointed if it had been. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat, needing to keep reading as I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.

I’d recommend Yesterday to readers who like historical stories which are set in the 1970s, have diverse characters and cultures, and a realistic ending. 5 out of 5 stars.

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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning. In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher and a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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