Following a brutal attack that left him nearly dead, Becket “Cat” Rowland is a mess inside and out. To cope with the trauma and with his view of himself that he’s nothing but an empty shell, he’s taken three vows: simplicity, chastity, and silence. His once colorful, trendy, and often feminine wardrobe has been replaced with jeans and t-shirts, and he’s sworn off men. He locks himself away from the world, using the memorized prayers of his childhood as his only speech.
Cat is lost to himself and everyone around him until another hospitalization introduces him to nurse David Simms. David takes Cat’s silence in stride, caring for him without pushing and slowly building Cat’s trust. As their love grows, Cat begins to let go of his vows one by one, only holding onto the silence.
Despite how far he’s come, the severity of Cat’s panic attacks threaten to undo everything David has built with him. Cat’s only hope is to break the final vow and tell the truth about the night of his attack. When David fails to keep a promise he made to be there for him, Cat has to stand on his own and prove to himself he’s strong enough to survive.
I really liked seeing Cat again. We get to see more of where he comes from and how he got where he is when he meets Micah. It’s a deeper look at who he is and everything he’s endured. I loved getting to see so much more of Cat.
We get to see how Cat’s gender expression evolved and changed. How different events shaped how he perceives himself. There were times he hurt my heart with how little he thought of himself. His reaction to That Night was so hard to read. I was afraid he wouldn’t ever come out of his shell. Even knowing that he does since I read the first book, he was so deep in his emotional spiral and it was so emotionally written I still didn’t believe it. You could also feel the helplessness of Cat’s family when dealing with the long term effects of That Night.
Seeing three distinctly different relationship Cat is in throughout the story is fascinating. I wasn’t much a fan of Bryce but he served an important purpose in Cat’s life. Seeing how Cat grows from that and handled his future relationships in reaction to it was amazing. He was eventually able to realize the good things that came from being with Bryce. I would love to see Bryce get his own story. There’s far more to him than we get to see. Though he was all wrong for Cat.
David was a beautiful soul. He was perfect for Post That Night Cat. He was exactly what Cat needed to help overcome his fears and love himself again. David is so good for Cat’s self esteem. Plus he had no trouble communicating with Cat when he wouldn’t speak for a whole year. I liked Cat and David together. Their love came shining through as you read. I’m sad at how the ended. However I’m immensely glad we don’t see it on page. It would straight up destroy me to read how Cat handles all that.
We get glimpses at Cat’s side of things when his relationship with Micah starts. Plus we get to see them a bit beyond and how they love each other deeply and are so happy together. You can feel their love in the final scene and know they’re going to make it for as long as they live. It’s such a sweet happily ever after, I don’t want anything else to mess it up.
Four and a half
A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. Ze keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, ze blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and hir family.
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