Finding Home: Book Two
Johnny Smith meets Church Chetwood during the dark days of the Great Depression. He knows Mr. Chetwood can’t be his forever. Why would the handsome and charming director want to stay with a young man who has nothing but his body and skills in bed to offer? His Mr. Chetwood can have any woman—or man—he wants, but Johnny is going to keep him as long as he can.
When they have to leave suddenly on the SS August Moon to evade the process servers trying to find Church, Johnny is glad they’ll have more time together. But the crew rises up against the good Captain Johansen, urged on by a stowaway who wants the August Moon for himself. Johnny and Church, together with the captain, the cook, a wireless operator, and the little girl Johnny saved from prostitution, are cast off into a small lifeboat—and doomed to the open sea. Their other option is to try to land on the island where Church once discovered a saber-toothed tiger. The problem is, the last time Church was on this island, twelve men paid the price with their lives. Will Johnny, Church, and their friends make it out alive this time?
Whither Thou Goest by Tinnean is set in the 1930s, and I thought captured the time period well. It’s written in first person, but is told from the perspective of several different characters. Although the first few chapters are from Johnny’s POV, it then switches to Church’s and then others of the ‘cast’. Although I haven’t read a book that switches POVs and does it in first person for more than two people before I thought it worked well and it fleshed out the characters nicely.
I also haven’t read the first book in this series—Call Me Church—but that didn’t take away the enjoyment of this one. Enough backstory is given to fill in the gaps without bogging down the storyline, which I appreciated.
This story is more of an ensemble with the focus not only on Johnny and Church’s romance but also the relationship between Charley aka Chow Chi and Captain ‘Jo’ Johansen. Hildy, the eight-year old girl they find on the island, is an interesting character, and I’d like to read more of her as an older woman—she had a lot of spunk and insight for a little girl, but without coming across as precocious or a Mary Sue type character. I would like to read more about Nick—the ship’s wireless operator—too.
There’s a lot of story going on, and I found Charley’s particularly interesting. I’d love to read more of his and Jo’s story. The villain of the piece is a nasty piece of work, and I thought the author did a good job with him, painting a picture of a motivated man without crossing the line into caricature.
The story, although taking the time to flesh out characters is still full of action, with the trip to the island etc a nice homage to the 1933 King Kong movie. Although Whither Thou Goest is an historical, what they find on the island also adds a dash of fantasy so it’s one of those stories which is a mix of genres.
I’d recommend Whither Thou Goest to readers who enjoy an old fashioned adventure with a touch of fantasy story in the style of King Kong with interesting characters and an ensemble cast. 4 out of 5 stars.