don't be afraid.a man stands before you with an arm outstretched, offering you his hand.he promises you an adventure.he answers no questions. he gives no assurances.he simply holds out his hand, and asks you to trust him. don't be afraid.he's offering you his hand.reach out, and take it.***someone at dreamspinner was afraid when they put this story in a box with a label that read 'bittersweet dreams.'they were afraid.and they wronged you.no span of joy this pure can ever be bittersweet, no matter that it always ends.no matter that it can't exist without the twisting of grief, the thrusting of anger, the swelling of pain, or the thrumming of an ache too vast to have a single name.there is no yes without no.there is no joy without sorrow.don't be afraid.this story is in the wrong box. with the wrong label.but the love in it is too big for a box at all.***there are missteps. i counted two.only two.one made me very angry.it was a single false note in what has been the single most transporting symphony of literary experience in my recent memory.no matter. don't be afraid.i read—i consumed—this novel with a greed i haven't felt in a very long time.every word. every line, sucked of its sweet marrow and crunched with delight until there was nothing left but the savory echo of pleasure.delicious words. wonderful words. magnificent words——sublime. sublime words.i loved these words.i was not afraid.because they loved me back.***sarah black once told me that stories are our gifts to a world that doesn't see us.i believe this with all my heart.i don't know the author personally, but i've read his words.I can see him, in my mind's eye, crafting this book with skill, and bravery, and generosity.filling it with his love and his grief and his joy.a story which he then sends to people who live very far away.for them to give us his gift. on his behalf.in this faraway place filled with faraway people, a mistake is made.someone... someone reads this novel, and feels all the things i feel—but also fear.whereupon this book is placed in the wrong box, with the wrong label on it.to this author i do not know—this figment of my imagination i choose to call mr. edmond manning—i whisper in the dark:forgive them.forgive, as your story reminded me to forgive.because i can see you, now.i can see you just fine.