I’ll start this review with the confession that I haven’t read the three previous Morning Report book. Since the story in this book takes place in the 1950’s rather than the present day, that turned out to be no problem what so ever, and I feel confident when I say Letters From a Cowboy can be read as a stand-alone.
I was very impressed with this book. This story touched my heart and took me through a host of feelings. I loved seeing Chip and Simon together which made it all the more difficult to have to watch them in a time and place where their love for each other could not only get them in trouble but also cost them their freedom or even their lives. When Chip falls apart after Simon leaves it broke my heart and yet, I couldn’t fault Simon for what he’d done. Under those circumstances he did the only thing he could think of to keep them both safe, and yet it nearly broke both of them.
Part of me read this book hoping for a miracle, a sudden change in attitude from the people around our heroes. A far bigger part of me is glad that Sue Brown stayed true to her historical setting and yet still managed to give Simon and Chip the happy ever after they so richly deserved.
This book made me think. Initially I just found myself angry that things had been so bad for gay people in the past and then I nearly slapped myself upside the head. This story may be set in 1950’s; the situation as described in it is a reality for way too many people in the world right now. Changes may be taking place but universal acceptance is still a thing we can only dream about and campaign towards. And while there is no harm in celebrating how far we’ve come, it is good to remember we still have a long way to go.
As I’ve come to expect from this author, the book is very well written, the storyline gripping right from the start and the development clever and realistic. The only downside to having read this book is that I now feel the need to read the earlier Morning Report titles as well, which is not a downside at all of course except...so many books and so little time.