It was with great curiosity that I set out to read this book, the fact that it was a personal gift from the author himself as we met for the first time right around Christmas, at a small cafe here in our hometown, Gothenburg was an amazing plus.
Sitting down with an actual book, a real book in my hands was a treat I forgotten how special that was. It also took me about 50% through the book to stop tapping the pages and think that action would flip the pages for me, which you get use to after only reading on a kindle for two years.
Hans, mind you now I've only met him once, talked to him several times, but Hans is this exuberant, honest and most interesting man to talk too, and really what you see is what you get. Hans, is extremely proud of his family, of his husband and their boy, it shows every time he mentions them how much he loves them. Heart to heart loves, no questions about it. He's open with how he feels about things and shares it with ease, without it being shoved down your throat, and that makes it welcoming to get to know him.
For the little over two hours we sat and talk about books, writing and how we wrote and why, where did our ideas come from and about family the more it felt like I was meeting a friend from 20 years ago. Someone you known before but hadn't seen in a long time.
So, why am I telling you about all of this for this review of Family Ties, because when getting this book from Hans he told me "this is my life story of sorts", at the time I didn't understand what those words meant but as I started reading Family Ties, and especially after finished reading Family Ties I understood maybe how personal it may actually be.
I could see what little I had seen of Hans, and learned by listening to him talk about himself and observed, in many of the characters, Sascha especially.
Family Ties, is exactly what the title says, a book about family and family bindings, what makes a family. It proves that family can be blood but it doesn't have to be, it shows that family can be that amazing man that saves you from living on the street, the man who loves you enough to dare live a life that is against society's norms, it can be those children that is part donor eggs, part surrogate mother and your partner's sperm, those children that isn't biologically yours, but still are by your loins and is more your family than the blood brother you never really got to know.
Family Ties, is an emotional journey of a whole family through Sascha's eyes, he let us follow him to Australia where fate teaches him harsh lessons no man or woman for that matter should ever have to learn, it let us follow the journey that two men takes on to be able to start their own family, spite the fact that many countries and society has negative ideas about other than man/woman couples having children. It's about learning that it is never too late to finding a middle ground with your blood family even if years, maybe even decades has past, you can still find understanding and become a family.
What I loved about this book the most are all the different stories weaved into one, and that they went so well together. You really got a full life story of Sascha and his husband Dan. You got to find out why their relationship was so special, understand why it works and was a match made in heaven. Hans really explains with such ease the connection of all relationships and why they were so important in Sascha's life and how they influenced him.
Family Ties, sure as it says, is a #LGBT book in its rightful definition. I don't say this about a lot of authors, I may just have said it to one other author, and that is Hans Hirschi write classics, books that will be in every book shelf, read because they give meaning to anyone who reads them, explain societal issues, and gives us as readers and people of this society a greater understanding for how it is to live in the real world as man, with a family with skeletons in the closet, and who just happens to be gay.
This is an author you have to read and experience on your own, Family Ties is a book I still over a week later of finish reading, still am thinking about and wonder in awe. I wonder how he manage to fit it all together so beautifully. That is just how good Hans Hirschi is at telling a story, he is a true storyteller.
You can find Hans on the following social medias:
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.