Matt Bowers’ life ended at 16, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear, and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For 10 years, he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.
He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence.
But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos, and he must make the hardest decision of his life.
After suffering an attack at 16, Matt suffers from extreme OCD and PTSD. He has locked himself away from the world in a cabin miles from town. He has turned his land into a self-sustaining oasis. He grows his own food, he fishes and hunts on his last and has almost no contact with the outside world. Then one day his world is turned upside down when someone starts jogging past his house everyday. The first sighting sent Matt into a panic attack to rival all panic attacks. Matt tried calling the sheriff to see if he could stop him, but the runner isn’t breaking any laws. Slowly, Matt comes to expect the runner at the same time everyday. One day when he doesn’t show up Matt’s world tips again. Can he leave his carefully constructed world to find out what happened to his runner?
My heart broke for Matt so many times throughout this story. His reaction to the attack was extreme, but how could it not be? He was 16, with very little if any coping skills. His mom did him a great disservice, she wan’t strong enough to get him the help he needed and so he retreated into himself where he knew he was safe and then eventually to his compound.
The runner, Charlie was an intriguing character. I love that he pushed Matt’s boundaries without being pushy or mean. He knew when to push and when to back off. He was so caring and understanding.
I loved the amount of detail in Matt’s compound. When Parker Williams described it I could actually visualize it and Patrick Zeller brought it to life with his perfect narration. From the greenhouse to the lake and all the gardens.
The thing that made me love this story was that Matt fell in love with Charlie and that made him want to get help to fix his issues, but Charlie made his see that he loved him issues and all and if he was getting help it was for himself. That he was loved either way, warts and all.
The story line was not at all predictable, as soon as I thought I knew what was going to happen something else would. I love that. The characters and the setting were well developed and rich with detail.
I fell in love with this story when I first read the book. I didn’t think I could love it any more than I already did, but Patrick Zeller has a great talent for narration. He took the story to the next level.
5 pieces of eye candy