If I were to award my best debut book this year, Chariots on the Highway is definitely part of my top three on my list of nominees. Initially, I dismissed this as a gay-for-you romance upon reading its blurb but lo and behold, I was totally blown away by its sheer genius – realistic lines, vibrant and relatable characters and the whole setting was utter perfection! I could not believe at first that I did not pick this up because of my preconceived ideas about it. Boy was I wrong!
From the very first time, Dan Green was introduced while settling his divorce and eventually “adopting” a lone soldier by the name of Tom Freeman, I was already hooked. There was instant chemistry between them and it went stronger as their relationship went deeper. At least until Dan recognized what he’s been missing and trying to find that thing. Of course, this “soul-searching” thing will not be possible without the help of other side characters on Dan’s side most especially Mike (his shrink) and Flora (his stepmom).
I loved that there was Kfir’s character (whom Tom dated) that made it easier for Dan to realize that he’s actually falling in love with Tom. It wasn’t an easy change for Dan but he accepted it. I’m not sure how open the Israeli society with the subject of homosexuality but from what I reckon reading this book, they are pretty liberal about it.
I loved that the sex scenes were written very much tenderly and how Tom guided Dan through their blossoming relationship. I loved the delicacy of their love-making. It was worth the wait once they realized that they would be good for each other.
There was parallelism between the title and Dan’s regular travels along the Ayalon highway and how in life, he needs someone like a passenger to be there with him. I thought that was a nice analogy and how it clearly reflected Dan’s journey to finding his purpose – and finding his true love.
Also, it is very important to note that the author did not focus solely on the romance aspect between Dan and Tom. It was very educational as well for those who are not familiar with a lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces like myself. The sacrifice, the courage and their love for their country is simply astounding!
There was also religion as an issue involving Tom’s family. I just hate fanaticism. It’s unhealthy and sure as hell ugly.
Overall, the story’s as magical as the setting. I don’t know why the setting just gave a vibe of tranquility and chaos – mixed together. It was just so beautiful! Thank you Limor Moyal for this eye-opening and beautifully rendered story! Keep writing! Bravo!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Published April 13th 2015 by Amazon Digital Services (first published April 11th 2015)