Title: Get Your Shine On
Author: Nick Wilgus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
When his mother goes out to party one Saturday night and doesn’t come back, seven-year-old Ishmael Hood is taken in by his estranged uncle Henry and Henry’s live-in boyfriend, Sam. As this unlikely trio begins to build a new life together, they encounter both support and hostility in the small Mississippi town where they live. Seems like just about everybody has an opinion on the matter—and they’re not shy about expressing it.
While this blossoming little family finds its feet, outside forces—and ghosts from the past—threaten to tear it apart. Henry, still trying to deal with the tragic death of his parents, finds himself hard-pressed to open his heart to this needy child.
Just as a little shine begins to come back into their lives, Ishmael’s mother returns, and their world is thrown into chaos.
Get Your Shine On is a contemporary novel that touches on a couple of harsh topics that some families may have knowledge of. The story grabbed my attention from the beginning and I could not help feeling for Henry, Sam, and little Ishmael.
Henry and Sam are lovers but their relationship has had a few rocky moments. When the reader gets to know both of these men better, it is easy to understand some of Henry’s behavior and feelings. The men live in one of those little towns where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and has an opinion on it. This is never clearer than when Henry’s sister abandons her young son, and Henry is left to step in
Henry’s actions at this time are a little stilted, and I had to go back to re-read the book’s blurb on the publisher’s website just to make sure I wasn’t confused with who Ishmael’s uncle was, especially since Sam was so much more welcoming. Slowly, as time passed, you could see the change coming over both Henry and Ishmael. In fact all three main characters start to form a tight family unit, which makes things rougher when those in the community start to interfere and the authorities make themselves known.
Readers will be drawn to Get Your Shine On just for the relationship between the three main characters; however, the mystery that is woven throughout the story is just as gripping. There are many little twists and turns, more than one I did not see coming. There are also a few tear jerking moments in this book so you may want to keep a tissue handy.
While there are many parts of this story I liked, it is the way that Henry was able to grow that I really loved. Watching him go from an uncle who barely cared for his nephew, to a young man fighting to get his son back was wonderful to see. I really ended up enjoying this story and I will have to keep my eyes open for more from this author.
Reviewed by: Lydia
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