Wherever is Your Heart starts after 5 years of pining. Mal is the bartender that the characters in Sing Anyway and Our Favorite Songs found scary/sexy/intimidating. Mal has steely eyes and keeps herself somewhat apart from the denizens of Moonies. June is a long-haul trucker who is based in Portland and has been stopping in to Moonies when she’s in town for 5 years. At the Pride festival the year before, something was almost said between them, but June got scared and left.
June and Mal have built a quiet relationship of shared glances, faint smiles, fingertip brushes and quick questions in the noise of a queer bar. Unlike the patrons who come in to sing and dance, June goes to Moonies to spend time with Mal. Both women do physically demanding jobs and both women have reached 50 and need to think about life after work. Turning 50 is propelling June towards saying what hasn’t been said and asking if Mal is interested in more. Mal’s sister is prodding Mal to make a move. They are looking for signals that the other is interested.
I loved seeing these two women finally reach out for what they want. I passed 50 a couple of years ago and there is a mindset shift. It isn’t just do I want to build a life with this person, it’s also, am I willing to alter my comfortable routines for this person? Will our comfortable routines be complimentary, or will they bring conflict?
Wherever is Your Heart was like a cup of hot cocoa with perhaps a splash of bourbon after a log cold day – sweet, comforting, and delicious.
You don’t have to have read the first two novellas to enjoy this one, but I loved them too and you should read them. It’s out March 1, and all three are perfect late winter, early spring reading.
Content notes: off page death of parents in a drunk driving accident, on page consumption of alcohol and pot.
I received this as an advance reader copy from the author. My opinions are my own and voluntarily given.