|“If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so.” ~ Mark Chernoff
Even though their brief encounter is supposed to be a no strings attached deal, Bly and Marc, of 'Flashbulb' by Clare London, feel the flicker of something possibly deeper between them. Before they have an opportunity for it to register properly, much less act on it, the plane they are on crashes, thrusting their lives into chaos and putting a long distance between them. Even after they have physically recovered, they need to talk about their experiences, but feel no one will understand their anguish since they haven't had the same experience.
Bly, usually quite shy, goes out on an unfamiliar limb when he gives in to temptation in an airplane bathroom with the handsome flight attendant, Marc. It's very brief, but lasts long enough to make an impression on both of them. After the crash Bly's recovery is extremely slow, not just physically, but emotionally as well. His broken leg has healed, but emotionally, he's still broken. Also, Bly has never forgotten Marc and not having the opportunity to get to know him, only adds to his despair. His parents are understanding; they want him to take his time to get better, but there is little they can do about him being stuck emotionally. They weren't there and Bly feels they can't begin to understand what he's suffering through. Bly gets a housesitting job for a cute little house in Dublin. Bly loves it there, but has a business to which he should be attending back in England. He's not sure he can ever go back to it. One day, when he's feeling especially blue, there's a knock at the door. Bly isn't expecting company but when he opens the door, Marc is standing there. Finally, he has someone to talk to who will understand.
In spite of the fact he wasn't hurt physically besides some bruises and cuts, and he helped save many passengers in the crash, Marc is in emotional turmoil; he's not able to fly now, not able to settle into any kind of normal life. He's lost in a depression he can not pull himself out of. His roommate is worried about him and tries to motivate him to move on, but to no avail. Marc hasn't forgotten the cute passenger he exchanged mutual gratification with even though their time together was brief. When the nightmares reach monumental proportions, his roommate insists he see someone. The only person Marc can think of who could possibly help is Bly. With his roommate's encouragement, he flies to Bly, hoping to see some peace and finally heal.
This is a moving story about two men who are caught up in a tragedy together and form a bond which helps them both heal. The vivid memories, created by their awful experience, made my heart ache for both of them, but Clare finds a way to take those memories and use them to put Bly and Marc's feelings in perspective and teach them what and who they really want from life. If you like a story with plane crashes, handsome flight attendants, passion, redemption, and forgiveness, you may enjoy this story. Thank you, Clare, for the emotional, yet hopeful read.