Author: Showandah S. Terrill
Publisher: Short Horse Press
Genre: Fictional Autobiography
Unique Elements: An actor/musician struggles with his dark past, his family’s affluence and set ways, and his sexual identity amid turbulent changes of the 1960s.
Series: Peter Aarons
Release Date: December 15, 2018
Number of Page: 408 Pages
MSRP: $21 HC; $15 SC; $9 Digital
Purchase Site: Click Here
Reviewed by: Eva Lounsbury
Final Score: 5 Moons (out of 5)
Peter Aloysha Aaron is a young man desperately trying to find himself. Born illegitimately in Russia, Peter can’t remember his early years, except by terrible nightmares that plague him and lure him back into a terrible trauma that he has no real memory of – trauma inflicted while he and his mother were held prisoner by the Germans.
Rescued by his father at a young age, Peter was then raised in Hollywood with all of the glamour and extravagance that came with the Hollywood scene. Son of a wealthy movie maker and financier, Peter had luxuries that most could only dream of but also resented pretentious society.
Peter has dreams of his own, but also loyalty to his father and his father’s dreams for him and this creates a constant battle inside of him. Loyal especially to his grandmother, Peter lives in her home (their original family home) and battles to understand his past, his present and the future that he wants for himself.
Glory Days had me sucked in from the first chapter. What happened to Aloysha when he was a young child in Russia? How does he balance his own dreams for his life and his loyalty to his father and the empire his father has built? How does he reconcile issues of morality and prejudice against Hollywood high society? How does he become his own man in the shadow of his father?
Throughout the book, there are hints and references about Peter’s future that made me crave the next book in the series even before I finished the current book in my hands. As I reached the final chapter, it closed in a way that satisfied me for a while, but leaves me yearning for the rest of the story.
There are so many different types of relationships in this book, but I didn’t find this overwhelming. I loved getting to know each character and how they fit into the story. I found myself trying to put myself into the shoes of many of the characters of this story, battling against the societal norms of that time – trying to fit in, but also trying to stand out. Some of the characters that I almost wanted to hate were developed in such a way that I couldn’t – I could see and almost feel their imperfect humanity, evoking perhaps pity but not hate. And throughout the novel, Peter’s love for music weaves through the story line like a soundtrack that you can only hear with your heart.
The eternal struggle to fit in, but yet to be yourself. To be accepted, yet be who you are. To love and be loved in return. To honor your family, but also find your independence. There is both beauty and darkness in this novel – the beauty of grandma’s garden, and the darkness of prejudice and forgotten traumas that continue to haunt. The characters made me both laugh and cry – from crotchety old housekeepers to the innocence of children. This novel is filled with people trying to find themselves, where they fit, and if they even know who they really are or what they really want out of life.
This is the first book that I have read by this author, but it leaves me eager for more. I want to, no I NEED to know the rest of Peter Aaron’s story. I need to know what the future holds for Glory & Rafael Ruiz and their boys. Will Peter follow his dreams, or his father’s dreams? I can’t wait for the next book.
Story: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Dynamics: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Gothic Fit: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Final Score (not an average): 5.0 Moons (out of 5)