Desert Isle Keeper
Sex & Sourdough
Anders’ boyfriend Joel suggests spending the summer together hiking the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia and getting as close to Maine, the end of the trail, as they can before they have to go back to school at the University of Northern Florida.
Anders, who hasn’t done much camping and hiking, is apprehensive about the trip, even more so when Joel flakes on him as Anders is standing in the parking lot leading to the start of the trail with his backpack and other gear firmly in place. Incensed, Anders decides to hike as far and as long as he can since he’s there and ready to go.
Very quickly, Anders finds that he’s in over his head. Thankfully, Kevin Winters takes Anders under his wing and hikes with him, smoothing his way, since Kevin had walked the Trail north to south the previous year. Nicknamed Sourdough because of the starter and flour he carries, Kevin guides Anders through the first few grueling days until they become hiking partners, meeting and greeting other hikers along the way.
Kevin, however, has his own, darker reason for hiking the Trail. Having just watched his father die a painful death due to lupus, Kevin himself has been diagnosed with the disease. Hiking long haul trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Kevin is running away from his mother and sister, the family bakery in California, and his diagnosis. His hike is his bucket list, he thinks.
Not only will readers enjoy the wonderful descriptions of the Appalachian Trail; they will also meeting the interesting and colorful people Anders and Sourdough befriend along the way. Their love story blooms just as the weather goes from spring to summer along the ever-changing scenery.
Anders, too, blooms, going from Joel’s cowed lover to Kevin’s beloved companion and delight. Anders, who at twenty-three looks like a lanky teenager, sees himself as wimpy and dependent at the beginning of the hike, but grows into an independent man who has no trouble standing up for himself in the end.
Kevin also changes, especially after he breaks down on the trail and must be hospitalized. Anders helps him see the possibilities in life rather than the roads closing because of his illness.
With this book and her previous one, A Casual Weekend Thing, A. J. Thomas is high on my list of authors whose next books I’m anticipating.