A Road Not Taken - Jennifer Thorne 4.75 starsFrom the first sentence onward, I felt drawn into the story. The setting in an eco-house building commune was unusual and fresh, and I learned a lot about eco-house building, hydrological cycles, and indoor farming without ever feeling hit over the head with facts. Not to mention the commune’s desert environment, which also added to the strong sense of place. Moreover, it’s just the kind of place where I can see someone like Jascha thrive quite happily, barely aware of his emotional void since that is balanced by the certainty of doing the right thing. It’s also just the kind of environment that wouldcompletely throw someone like Peter, a place where Jascha’s pure joie de vivre would seize him by the neck and give him a shake good enough to turn his life upside down.Peter is a wonderful realistic character (so is Jascha, by the way, but he’s so exotic that he’s in a class of his own). But Peter is you and me and anybody who has ever carried the weight of the world on his shoulders without any kind of idea how to ease out from under it. His issues, the problems that drive him into depression are of the everyday kind that usually evokes comments like, such is life, buddy, if you can’t suck it up, make a change. Thing is, a depressed person can’t do anything with good advice like it. It takes professional help to break free of a clinical depression, but even seeking such is a decision the depression often renders its victims incapable of making.One fact that I really, really liked about this book was that it didn’t take the easy out of “love heals everything” . Meeting Jascha, falling in love with him didn’t miraculously heal Peter; it was mostly a wake-up call for him, a reminder that his life could have a purpose, if he only found the strength to look for it. And, best of all, this wasn’t only for Peter. Jascha needed healing too, if a different kind, and meeting Peter set things for him in motion as well.Despite all this realism, the ending was a little fairy-taleish. They fought, sure, each in his own way, and things didn’t miraculously fall in place for them but still…. It was heartwarming and hopeful, though, and on top of that, awfully romantic, so I won’t complain too hard. Romance is what we’re all after in the end, isn’t it? ;-)If you’re in the mood for an intelligent, heartwarming, well-written romance with a touch of angst and a hearty dash of humor, try this book. I warmly recommend it.A Road Not Taken will be released on September 4th, 2012Review originally written for reviewsbyjessewave.com