Not since Dean Winchester have I wanted to smack and hug - but mostly hug - a character as often as I did Jimmy Dorset.
Jimmy is a drifter. He's been on his own since he was 14 and being kicked out of the home was probably the best thing that happened to him up to that point. His mother never cared much for him, his half-brothers bullied him, his mother's string of boyfriends barely gave him any notice, and he never knew his father's name. He had a crappy upbringing and an even crappier adulthood. He's convinced himself he doesn't need anything other than the clothes on his back. He doesn't need attachments, he doesn't need affection and he sure as hell doesn't need hope. For nearly thirty years, he moves from town to town, barely staying in one place for more than a few days. He's a ghost in his own existence, surviving one day at a time. Then one day he picks up an old hitchhiker named Tom and everything changes.
Shane has his own past and issues to deal with. He was in a car accident several years back that nearly ended his life and left him battered and broken. Every move is a pain, he has trouble remembering the simplest things, he has seizures, and he has a three-week gap in his memory surrounding the accident. He doesn't let that hold him back. He takes his opportunities where he can get them, and he has an easiness about him that even the skittish Jimmy can't resist.
This is a slow-paced book, and it needs to be. As a reader, you get to see inside Jimmy's head and experience his evolution as he comes to Rattlesnake and slowly falls in love with the town and its charming bartender. You see all the ways he plans to leave the next day, and all the ways he starts making excuses to stay on just one more day.
I wanted this book to last forever, but since it couldn't I'll smile fondly whenever I think of Jimmy Dorset and Shane Little and imagine how their life continues after the last page ends.