Passing Shadows is not perfect, it drags a bit in the middle, isn’t as brilliantly composed as Filth by the same author and has probably many flaws I didn’t notice or am not willing to dwell upon, but it is intelligent, emotional without manipulating, beautifully written without shying from calling a spade a spade and because it didn’t give me a pretty bow to end Brett’s and Tommy’s story.The book begins exactly where Breaking Faith left off : Tommy just came out of the joint after six years of meetings in the visiting room and scheduled phone calls.So, we have Brett who is an endless well of love and strength, gave up everything and defied everyone, never failed to be supportive and waited, waited, only to see his dream not becoming true. It is unfair.And we have Tommy, who didn’t have much to give up but lost it anyway, is free again but wasn’t ever in the first place, whose only purpose in life was to protect his family who grew up without him. It is unfair too.These two meet again and it is an uneasy read, as we’re stuck in their head, along with their thoughts, fears, frustrations and hurts. They have to learn to be lovers, to live, to learn what it means to be with someone and give up again.It is sometimes tempting to judge their relationship, their choices and as a reader, I found that I had also to let go of whatever idea I have about what a good relationship is, or what love is, or happiness, or whatever I think should or shouldn’t be done. Life isn’t an exact science and rarely offers perfect solutions and yes, being an adult means to make choices (good or bad) and live with them and more often than not to let go. I'm glad that Brett's parents were wise enough and loving enough to let go too and play their part of unconditionnal love.In the end, what matters is that they win their battle in their own way and the book ends on a beginning, with this now familiar mixed but genuine happiness that is a big open window onto hope.