I stumbled upon the 1959 movie Gidget the other day. It's a
fun if old-fashioned movie that I don't feel particularly
compelled to watch, except for the ending. I love the last
few minutes. In one scene, Gidget, heartbroken that she's
lost the boy she loves and is still "as pure as the driven
snow," is drawn by her mother to her grandmother's old
sampler which reads "A Real Woman Brings out the Best in a
Man." This scene came to mind as I was reading JUNK which
at heart is a lovely story of how a real man brings out the
best in his man. Really, Jasper and Lewis bring out the
best in each other. JUNK is an emotionally rich and
compelling story of two men striving to clear the clutter,
literal and metaphoric, to make room for true love. I keep
re-reading the ending because I love watching them reach for
their well-deserved happily ever after.
Lewis Miller, and his twin sister Carroll, are professional
clutter clearers and counselors. They help hoarders work
through their emotional barriers as they take baby steps
towards clearing out mountains of junk. They change lives
one trash bin at a time. Jasper Richardson has known for
some time that he needs help. His home has been consumed by
stacks of books, magazines, and newspapers to the extent
that he is unable to use most of the rooms in the house.
After one book pile collapse too many he finally works up
the nerve to call Lewis and Carroll for help.
Lewis is surprised to discover that not only does he know
Jasper, but Jasper is the one Lewis had a crush on in
school. The attraction returns full force but Lewis is
cautious. Not only is Jasper a client, Lewis is dealing with
his own tendency to get too attached too soon which only
leads to having his heart broken. As it becomes clear that
Jasper wants to be more then friends, Lewis is afraid that
what Jasper feels results from dependence due to the support
Lewis provides during the emotionally wrenching task of
de-cluttering his home. Jasper hesitates wondering who
could love an emotionally crippled hoarder. Lewis and
Jasper will have to work through all the junk and learn to
trust the bright future they could have together.
JUNK is a must read for fans of contemporary romance. The
process of healing Jasper's home and life is both gut
wrenching and hopeful. Lewis and Jasper are strong and
engaging characters. Their personalities and quirks are
well-developed giving them vivid personalities. The family
and friends who surround them are just as interesting.
Lewis's parents add a touch of humor, Carroll adds a rough
edge, and Jasper's friends Mas and Yusef bring a bit of
wistfulness. I don't know if Josephine Myles writes series
but I would love to see these characters again.
Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all
When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living
room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer
ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines
and newspapers can no longer be classified as a
“collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.
Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller
thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s
shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by
the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm
he remembers from school.
What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships
with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress,
though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even
Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary
emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.
Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal.
But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding
problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls
Warning: Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret
addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer
“to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice,
and deliciously British slang.