Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tiptoeing the Line

The lines of morality and loyalty are skewed when it comes to the past lovers of close friends. For most of us, exes of our closest companions are off limits when it comes to dating. Hugh, the main character of Crossing the Bridge by Michael Baron, tiptoes this fine line with his brother's last girlfriend, Iris. When his brother, Chase, was still alive, Hugh knew that Iris and Chase had the kind of relationship that would last forever. But with Chase's death, their relationship was eternally severed.

Now, ten years later, Hugh and Iris reconnect as old friends. Hugh finds his romantic interest piqued by Iris' fun personality and loving nature. They find themselves spending more and more time together. And when Hugh and Iris share a sensuous kiss outside of a local bar, Hugh begins to wonder what it would be like to put down some roots. Until Iris insists that they remain friends.

As readers, we can connect with what Hugh is going through. He's falling for his younger brother's girlfriend. The last girlfriend that Chase ever had. The struggle to remain loyal to his brother, even in death, is respectable, but when does that line disappear? Is it wrong for Hugh to "chase" Iris? Do we, the reader, side with Hugh who is representing a forbidden love? Or do we side with Iris and Chase and realize that loyalty to a family member, even in death is the most important?

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