In a last ditch effort to bring the downtown Detroit gastro pub he started with his late husband back to life, Asher Schenck fires everyone and hires a completely new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a 23-year-old recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for med school. As their relationship shifts from business to friendship, Tyler falls for Asher and finds himself caught between the things he thought he wanted and the things he hasn’t allowed himself to dream about. Working together, they get to know each other’s dreams. Set in the backdrop of Detroit’s revival, Idlewild is a story about love and healing.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
It is kind of hard to start this review as I loved the book so much that I am not sure whether I can do it justice in it. It was impossible to put down, literally, and I kept reading it until I was done (which was at 2am).
I loved the focus on the MCs, Asher and Tyler. Asher is still dealing with grief years after his husband has died and tries to keep the one thing they did together and he still has, the restaurant Idlewild, running. To do this, he hires all new staff and Tyler is one of the new employees. Even though he has no experience in this particular field, Asher feels something is right when he hires him. The other characters are not stressed that much, but are still important.
They start as employer and employee, even though they both feel the attraction. But Tyler is in a relationship with Malik. Malik is fierce and grew up in one of the worst districs in Detroit and is against anyone who thinks that they can single-handedly save the city. The relationship between Asher and Tyler improves while Tyler and Malik’s relationship deteriorates and later ends.
The city features a lot in a book. It is almost like a character. To be quite honest, the two things I knew about Detroit is Eminem and the fact that there used to be (?) car factories. Then again, that’s pretty much all that we learnt in school when we learnt about the USA. Anyway, it turned what I knew on its head, and painted a lovely picture of people trying to show that the city is beautiful to the others who think…well, what I did.
I loved that there was point made that Asher and Tyler see the city different. And instead of fighting and judging each other, they show the other one their view of the city. Tyler understands that their views differ, but he is not angry when Asher does not understand his views completely, he tries to explain to him. And he is never angry or resentful that Asher still grieves for his husband, he tries to help him to overcome this and makes Asher actually deal with it, as well as encouraging Asher to reconnect with people from whom he distanced because of his grief.
The writing style flows beautifully, and is almost poetic. It reads really easily and I envy the writing style of the author. The book made me cry at some point, as the grief Asher experiences was really beautifully written, the reader can almost feel it.