Review - "Finding Zach" by Rowan Speedwell
Great story of redemption and rebirth
"Hate can make you strong; I know it did me."
Zach Tyler has been missing for five long years. Kidnapped at 15, taken from his family and loved ones, he has endured...lived through pain, abuse, neglect, rape, hate. Then a rescue attempt by US forces in Venezuela for kidnapped scientists turns up a young man, starved and beaten and abused, collared and on a leash. The pet of a cruel and dangerous petty tyrant. Zach.
"Evil people want to damage beauty - they don't understand it."
David has known Zach his entire life. Four years older than Zach, he watched him grow from a little boy into a young man. And when Zach kisses him, it triggers feelings and panic and fears in David. So he and Zach's parents think it best if Zach has some time away. And that is when he is kidnapped. And David is frantic. Blaming himself. Guilty. Grief ridden. As he lives his life, unable to move past his feelings for Zach, he cannot find a man who moves him like Zach.
And when Zach is found, David is ecstatic. Until Zach refuses to see him. For two long years, Zach tries to heal. Physically, mentally, emotionally scarred, Zach is not the same and never will be.
"It's like he's being born, only it's taking months instead of hours."
When David moves back home, he knows he may run into Zach. After all, his mother is the housekeeper for Zach's family, and the two families are tight, old friends. But when he finally sees Zach, it is in a bar. And Zach has changed. He is a hard, angry man. Can the two reconnect? Be friends? Lovers? Or will what Zach suffered and the secrets he holds from his capture come between the men and keep them apart?
This is a rare and wonderful book. Rowan Speedwell has taken a young man and subjected him to horrors which would break most men, then brought him back. Shows him to us with all his pains and fears and anger and doubts. And then shows us another young man who has felt the pain of guilt, separation and fear. Then she reunited the two and makes us watch all the love and pain and hate and grief play out.
This is an amazing study of how love can survive against all odds. How the human spirit is so much stronger than hate. How hope can bloom in desert soil. And how life and love and living go on and thrive in the face of secrets and fear.
Such a fantastic book. Savor it.