The things that keep them apart are those that make up who they are.
This is a story about childhood friends Bobby Gallegos and Alejo Sandoval. They are back together 22 years later after a terrible breakup, facing similar issues.
I have to say upfront “Fall Into the Sun” holds a special place with me. The first few pages into the story, I realized the choice of wording alluded to something dear and close to my heart. I kept reading and there it was Brokeback Mountain clearly referenced in the story. I love the short story by Annie Proulx. I love the film.
“Fall Into the Sun”, however, is very much the story about Bobby Gallegos and Alejo Sandoval. Culture, strong family tradition, and jealousy play a big part in breaking up teenage lovers, Alejo and Bobby. Youth, immaturity, and sexual orientation also weigh heavily on these boys. Although no longer together, the one thing that never falters throughout the 22 years apart is love.
The story starts out with middle-aged Bobby and Alejo having gotten back together after years of separation. Bobby works as a lawyer and lives in Houston has a week vacation he is spending with Alejo. Alejo still living in New Mexico, books them in the new Sandia Resort Hotel and Casino, outside of hometown, Albuquerque. Bobby tries not to read much in the location Alejo selected for the meet up. Away from family, friends, and children, to some place no one would recognize them.
After spending a wonderful evening together, a family crisis intrudes in their morning after. Alejo has to leave but this time Bobby does go with him.
What I like about the beginning of the story is how the author immediately setup the love scene with Bobby and Alejo. The readers experience the depth of their reunion through the tenderness, joy, and desire of them making love. The love scene is perhaps one of the best I have read. It does a wonderful job of merging the physical act with deep and meaningful feelings. The reader will realize Bobby and Alejo belong together. It set me on the path of rushing to read what kept them apart those years.
The narrative seamlessly weaves in and out of the present and past to shape the history between these two men. The details of the past are written in short burst, forming the foundation for the present. We learn how deeply rooted Alejo is into family traditions and culture, his need for his father’s approval, and how this need affects his relationship with his trouble son. Bobby’s family life is so opposite of Alejo although they share the same culture. What Bobby need and still do is Alejo.
As matured adults, they are starting at the point they left off 22 years ago with the main issue of Alejo prioritizing his life with family obligations and hurting Bobby in the process. I routed for Bobby throughout the entire story.
The cliché of “history has a tendency to repeat itself” is so appropriate here.
I enjoyed reading this book immensely. Highly Recommended.