Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Go Tell It on the Mountains
Author: Nick Wilgus
Series: Sugar Tree #3
Heroes: Wiley Cantrell/Jackson Ledbetter
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 336 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 22, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Years have gone by since the death of Noah, his special needs son, and Wiley Cantrell realizes it’s time to move on. He and his husband, Jackson Ledbetter, try to adopt little Tony Gorzola, a deaf boy with HIV who is emotionally traumatized.
Difficulties quickly set in. Tony is a sweet boy but very damaged by abuse and neglect. And Tony’s mother, in prison, is unwilling to relinquish her parental rights. No sooner do they get the go ahead to foster Tony when another child they had considered becomes available—the daughter Jackson always wanted.
With two children on their hands, life is complicated—wonderfully so. But just as things begin to settle down, Tony, his immune system compromised, falls ill with pneumonia—and Wiley and Jackson find their little family faced with crisis once again.
Review: By far, one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read. And what makes it even worse is that we’d gotten to know, and love, these guys through the two previous books, and with all the pain they’ve suffered, it’s just unimaginable that it not only continues, but gets a lot worse. There is no big surprise because the blurb itself is a big neon warning sign. If you go into this unprepared, that’s on you.
But, this is also a story of second chances, unconditional love, moving forward, and creating a life worth living. We lost Noah, and fortunately it was in between books, but his memory is prominent in this story because Wiley can’t let go. Noah and Wiley defied the odds, defied family and society, defied anything and everything because for so long their love for each other was all they had. Then they welcomed Jack into their lives and created a family. The south continued to rail on their “lifestyle”, the church was still very unGod-like, but the Cantrell and Ledbetter families made tremendous strides in learning to not only accept their little family, but love them as they were. And then Noah dies. So completely unfair, but it was alluded to in book two that some things were happening with Noah, but still…so unfair.
Tony is the star of this book. He is by far the cutest, most adorable, and most tragic child to live…and no wonder Wiley wanted him, he saw Noah in everything about the little boy. He was not a replacement, and I never once felt like it was unfair that Noah died and Wiley and Jack bought a new son. It was nothing like that. Six years pass and Wiley is still haunted by his loss, but he and Jack have the ability to help another unwanted and special child, and they do.
What they didn’t expect was two children. Amelia has her own tragedies to overcome, yet she is healthy and not deaf, just orphaned and alone. I liked her okay, but she did come across as a little sarcastic for a nine year old, especially one that was a little rude and ungrateful… maybe that’s not too unusual and just like a child. I just know she irked me a bit and I wanted her to get over herself. She eventually ends up being a great daughter and big sister to Tony, so I got over it.
I loved that Wiley and Jack’s moms became friends. Mrs. Ledbetter deals with a heartbreak of her own and that put a little perspective in her life. She is still the same woman who spoke her mind without apology, but you see a vulnerability in her that was missing in the earlier books. Mrs. Cantrell and Billy seemed to put their church’s teachings aside and became a real family to Wiley. I guess when you lose a grandson and nephew then see your son and brother fall apart, it becomes a big wake up call on how you’ve wronged the guy. I was glad to see that aspect of the story find closure.
I always write long reviews for this series so I will stop now. Just be prepared for tears, grief, more tears, sad farewells, and family drama. But all that is tempered with the typical humor that we remember. It’s a beautiful tragedy, but I guess that’s life.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*