Hayden Thorne, Queerteen Press, Small Gems

The Winter Garden by Hayden Thorne

The Winter Garden is a story of perspective, and by that I mean that while I was reading, what this story seemed to be on the surface became so much more to me upon reflection. The more I thought about this story, the deeper it touched my heart, and in such a wonderful way, leading me on a journey to a place where the beauty of the things we aren’t meant to see or fully comprehend are absolutely capable of existing in the presence of love.

My initial reaction to this moving and haunting tale was that it was a tragic recollection of lost opportunities, of overwhelming regret and misspent time, but I was so wrong. No, as you come to the end, this story evolves into one of second chances and infinite possibilities. It’s a story of the enduring strength of hope and faith and the way in which two boys settled into a friendship, and how they became kindred spirits despite their differences. Separated when the earthly tent in which the soul resides slips its fragile bonds, the very place that at once seemed a prison transforms into an Eden for Nicholas and, eventually, for Adrian too. The winter garden that was once so lonely became a paradise in which to reunite and enjoy the promise of a lifetime of sharing.

Sometimes perspective means everything, and this was a beautiful message that came at just the right time for me.

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