As Meat Loves Salt - Maria McCann

ladymol's review:

This could possibly be the best book you will ever read. Set in the English Civil War, it follows the intense relationship between two men: Jacob Cullen and Christopher Ferris.

The story captures you from the first page, and once the two men have met (in Cromwell's New Model Army), the pace never slackens. If you've read gay fiction before, be ready to be astounded by this novel. It manages to convey sexual passion of an unbelievable intensity in a few words and images that leave you reeling.

If you are new to gay fiction, then this novel would be a very good place to start. The attraction between the two men is totally convincing, and you will be hooked on this genre for good.

If you can, share this book with someone, because you will want to talk about it. It's like a proverbial onion, the more you peel away the layers, the more layers you find underneath. However, unlike an onion, this novel does not have a hollow centre; it's packed full of memorable people and images.

Ultimately, this book will leave you stunned and begging for more.

It's my advice that if you buy from Amazon, try to resist reading the reviews there until after you've read the book - they contain major spoilers. Also, the book comes with two different covers. The one shown above is the most attractive.

Cerisaye's review:

A spellbinding story that will engross you totally while reading it and haunt you for weeks after you've finished. You're almost guaranteed to want to go straight back to the beginning as soon as you've read the final page. McCann has taken the often predictable historical novel format and given it an exciting edge by creating two charismatic male characters, Jacob Cullen and Christopher Ferris, and by making their intense and lovingly described homosexual relationship the focus of the story. Regardless of what you ultimately think about the narrator and his lover, you can be sure you will have been made to question your assessment several times along the way.

Internal turmoil in both men makes a suitable way into the bloody and brutal strife of the period. The historical background is well researched but never intrusive. You really feel as if you're there with them in the 17th C, particularly the detailed descriptions of life with the New Model Army with all the horrors of battle and siege during the bloody English Civil War; a time that could, in less skilled hands, have been rendered completely alien to the modern reader. Be warned. It's not an easy read. There are depictions of extreme violence: physical, psychological and sexual in nature. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. The sex is lyrical rather than graphic, very much less is more. It suits the story, but it may leave the informed slash reader a little frustrated with its coyness; however, I found it extremely erotic, and one of the most powerful love stories I have ever read. To sum up, even if you don't normally go for historical novels, try this book, and you will never look at the genre in quite the same way again.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Flamingo. ISBN: 000655248X

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