Set in the very English suburbia of 1962 where everyone has tidy front gardens and lace curtains, Junction X is the story of Edward Johnson, who ostensibly has the perfect life: A beautiful house, a great job, an attractive wife and two well-mannered children. The trouble is he’s been lying to himself all of his life. And first love, when it does come, hits him and hits him hard. Who is the object of his passion? The teenaged son of the new neighbours.
Edward’s world is about to go to hell.
I really enjoy Erastes’ writing and Junction X was no exception. However, I’m really struggling with how to grade this book. This book was heartbreaking – but I couldn’t put it down, even when I began to realize where it was headed.
Edward Johnson used to fool around with his neighbour. Not the wife…but the husband. But despite the physical release of those frantic meetings, Edward still longed for more. He wanted an emotional connection. He loved his wife…but he was not in love with her. And when his neighbour moved away, Edward thought that was the end of things. But then a new couple moved in next door and their son was the most beautiful person Ed had ever seen. A friendship ensued and then eventually more. And Ed knew it was wrong, but he became the consummate liar to keep his relationship going with Alex. But eventually his wife became suspicious, his friend (the former neighbour) chimed in on his activities and Ed realized that he had a choice to make…and the choices he made positively broke my heart.
I have to say Erastes drew me in and wrung me out with this story. The writing was gripping and there was some foreshadowing that clued the reader in that this was not necessarily an HEA type story. And it wasn’t. I have to get that out of the way. I would not classify this as an m/m romance if you were wondering. It was so much more. When I started this book, I was reminded of that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road. Imagine that movie, in Britain, and then insert a hot young neighbour to the mix. That’s Junction X. The time period had so much influence on the characters. Which is how it should be. But it’s really felt here more so than in other novels I’ve read recently.
Edward’s story was fascinating and heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine what to grade it. The writing was great. But the story…I was unprepared for the way it went down. Don’t go into this thinking you’re getting a romance. There was a story about two people falling love, yes, but sometimes you fall in love with the wrong person…
But in the end, I have to give Junction X a 5 out of 5. It was compelling as hell and to be so wrapped up in a book that it breaks your heart? That’s talent.
This book is available from Cheyenne Publishing. You can buy it here in e-format.