In 1980s America, an Amish boy named Theo travels to a bar for Rumspringa, a traditional coming-of-age period for members of the Amish community where the adolescent leaves the enclosed religious community to take part in the outside world. There, Theo meets Oz, a man working as a waiter after abandoning his dream to be a Broadway performer.
I really love this story, and totally get why it was number 1 on the 2019 'Kono BL ga Yabai!' list. 1980s America was an interesting choice for a BL, but the vast fields of the Amish countryside and small Pennsylvania town suit it perfectly. Good art, interesting characters, and a compelling story of two men who are trying to figure out how to overcome the personal obstacles holding them back from their dreams. One has fallen low and grown cynical after giving up on his childhood dream of becoming a dancer, while the other, a wide-eyed innocent, is trying to figure out how to balance his strict religious upbringing with his desire to see and experience the world outside of the Amish community where he grew up. Oz must decide whether or not he's had enough of prostituting himself and hiding from his past failures and find a way to gather the courage needed to try pursuing a dancing career again. The other, a gentle youth named Theo, must think long and hard about the sacrifices he will be forced to make if he chooses to live his life as an Amish man - as well as the things he will have to sacrifice if he does not. He doesn't need to be Amish to have God in his life, but if he parts ways with the community where he grew up, he will never see his family again. Both men get a chance to experience the other's world, growing as individuals as well as a couple, and in the end, they break down the barriers holding them back. They freely ride off into the sunset together, ready to stand and face both the joys and failures that inevitably await them in life, and I could feel their excitement, fear, and determination - as well as their love. This was certainly worth the read and I look forward to checking out more of this author's work in the future. ~ Review written for the 2019 Secret Santa event
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