The Tin Box

The Tin Box Hours And MinutesWilliam Lyon S Past Forced Him To Become Someone He Isn T Conflicted And Unable To Maintain The Charade, He Separates From His Wife And Takes A Job As Caretaker At A Former Mental Hospital Jelley S Valley State Insane Asylum Was The Largest Mental Hospital In California For Well Over A Century, But It Now Stands Empty William Thinks The Decrepit Institution Is The Perfect Place To Finish His Dissertation And Wait For His Divorce To Become Final In Town, William Meets Colby Anderson, Who Minds The Local Store And Post Office Unlike William, Colby Is Cute, Upbeat, And Flamboyantly Out Although Initially Put Off By Colby S Mannerisms, William Comes To Value Their New Friendship, And Even Accepts Colby S Offer To Ease Him Into The World Of Gay SexWilliam S Self Image Begins To Change When He Discovers A Tin Box, Hidden In An Asylum Wall Since The S It Contains Letters Secretly Written By Bill, A Patient Who Was Sent To The Asylum For Being Homosexual The Letters Hit Close To Home, And William Comes To Care About Bill And His Fate With Colby S Help, He Hopes The Words Written Seventy Years Ago Will Give Him Courage To Be His True Self

Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phone booth to change into her author costume which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out homework assistance to her children Her favorite wor

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  • 8 pages
  • The Tin Box
  • Kim Fielding
  • English
  • 17 March 2017

10 thoughts on “The Tin Box

  1. says:

    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERSI m a self centered person books like this, and other things I see from time to time, remind me of this fact Take my back for example I m 33, but I ve got the back of a man in his late 90s I complain about my back constantly telling anyone who will listen all about the fact that I have to sleep on the floor sometimes when I throw my back out while bending over to tie my shoes, but then I get reminded that I m a self centered person when I see the short, yellow bus that picks up the little boy down the street the little boy who will spend his life in a wheelchair the little boy who always waves at me when I jog by his house He s always got a big grin pasted on his face when he sees me running by on my two good legs So self centered.The Tin Box tells two stories The main story is about William, a man who has finally decided to admit to himself that he s gay William takes a job care taking at an abandoned insane asylum William s history is brought out slowly and the reader learns just how far he was willing to go, and how far he was forced to go, to avoid being gay, but now that he s decided to face the truth, he tries to be open to the situation when he meets Colby, an out and proud man who works at the store where William does his shopping.The second story concerns Bill, a long gone inmate of the asylum Bill had been confined to the asylum when his family learned he was gay Bill s story parallels William s and demonstrates how much, and how little, things have changed for people who don t love the way they re supposed to love.I was not surprised to read about the horrible things that happened to Bill at the asylum I ve worked in psychiatry most of my adult life and I am well aware of the profession s sometimes brutal history It s just that I don t think about these things often because self centered.I felt so sorry for myself when I came out My mom cried and my sister wrote me a nasty letter quoting bible verses and that s it That s all that happened to me Nobody tried to lock me away Nobody tried to force me into physically painful or soul crushing therapy Every minute some brave young man or woman comes out Most of them are in for a rough time, but it s a rough time that is blessedly brief and then they get to live and love the way they re supposed to live and love but there are still those who won t be that lucky There are those who will be sent away to be treated, which means shamed until they either run into the unknown or allow their spirits to break and agree to live a life that is nothing but a hopeless lie Most of these people are like William in this book they will get their happy ending, but they have to work for it far harder than they should have to work just to be happy There are also those who will be physically brutalized or even killed for the crime of being honest It s unthinkable to me that love could equal death for anyone, but it s a sad truth.I m self centered because I never think about these people I m too busy doing P90X so I can impress the guy I ve got a crush on I m too busy writing my silly books that will hopefully make people smile and sell enough copies to finance my next vacation.So The Tin Box reminded me about how things used to be and how things still are for a lot of people It reminded me that I m a lucky man with a bad back whose mother worries about the fact that he doesn t have a boyfriend That s right she nags me for not having a BOYFRIEND.I know I ve gotten seriously off track and I m supposed to be writing about The Tin Box and not myself, so, I want everyone to read this book It won t be easy, I cried a lot, but you won t regret reading it at all it s wonderful and will stomp on your heart, but, if you re anything like me, your heart can handle some stomping and your brain can handle some reminding about how lucky most of us truly are in this life.

  2. says:

    4.5 heart wrenching stars When I finished the last page of this book, I had to take a deep breath and attempted to get my wayward emotions under control.This is a powerful story, it had me crying, angry, frustrated and mad It also had me laughing and smiling and happy.We meet William, a soon to be divorced 32 year old trying to finish his dissertation, since he has no place to live he takes the position of caretaker for an old Insane Asylum The story is told from his POV.To be honest I wasn t thrilled with William in the beginning of this story, but as it went on, I understood him so much better, understood why he was the way he was and admired the strength and courage it took to finally take control of his life Unlike Colby Thomas Anderson, William Benjamin Lyon was a constructed creature, an identity based largely on who William thought he should be, who he had been coerced to be Colby was easy to like, he was often what kept this story lighter and happier.How can you not love a kid who does this When I was in kindergarten I used to accessorize my Transformers with rhinestones I stole from Grandma s Bedazzler Colby is such an upbeat and happy guy, he doesn t have the easiest life but he is who he is and he s happy with who he is Colby Thomas Anderson, JV s resident queer So I figured hey, I m gonna be the most authentic fucking me I can be He wears fun clothes, eyeliner and just seems to sparkle and lighten the story whenever he is in it.One day William finds a small tin box and he slowly discovers the story of a patient in the asylum Put there for being homosexual and made to suffer such sad and horrific treatments Although Bill tells his story in letters he was never able to send to his lover Johnny, he shares some of what he and the others there go through It is amazing and horrifying and heart wrenching what was done to people, people with depression, PTSD, made me than sad, it made me sick Bill tells it in a very straightforward way, not trying to elicit sympathy, but I couldn t help but feel for all the people past and present who have experienced things like that in the name of treatment But if I were cured I would not love you any longer, would not long for your voice and your touch And that is a loss I can bear much less than the loss of my freedom William understands all too well, his parents tried to cure him too I loved how he used Bill as a role model and guide, Bill didn t have choices, William does Colby and William are great together, Colby is good for William and maybe just maybe William can be what Colby needs too.I don t really want to say any , I want William and Bill to tell their story and hope that it touches everyone else the way it touched me.ETA Kim Fielding has pictures from the asylum she based this story on, for those interested in seeing it here s the link

  3. says:

    A good review, this is not going to be Yoda speak much The letters in this book are incredibly heartbreaking, the same way reading about concentration camps and genocide victims wreck me However, MC s love story was light and quirky It is an interesting juxtaposition and I m not sure if it worked 100% of the time However, I was still very moved by the overall story, the combined effect of the letters and William Colby s relationship What can I say, I couldn t put it down.

  4. says:

    Written September 8, 20154.7 Stars Wow, this story got me A super great audio as well The Tin Box is one of these highrated M M romance so many friends loves A book I probably should had read the very first day I heard about itif I always acted as a wise girl and listened to my nice friends recommendations But better late than never Or I loved itI have been totally engrossed in this amazing emotional story It was fun, romantic and sweet too but I need time Still breathless, speechless and there are so many emotions to process I don t know if I can handle to write so much about this book but hopefully my five stars says a lot The Tin Box is a romance with two strong love stories and three interesting characters I really liked both these stories, felt for the storyline and plots, liked the narration and loved LOVED these wonderful characters.First and mostly there is a present story about William Lyon who just separated from his wife and arrives in a California small town He is there to complete his thesis and in the same time start a job as caretaker at a former, nowadays empty, mental hospital Here is also the flamboyantly out, Colby Anderson, from the local store and post office, the man who changes much in William s closeted straight life William soon discovers a tin box hidden in the asylum wall since the 1940s The letters in the box were secretly written by a homosexual patient 70 years ago We get a heartbreaking gripping lovestory from past There are so much to say butSoobing, gripping, enjoying, stunning good My kind of favorite M M romance Will never ever forget these men Bill s tale and his love for Johnny is simply unquestionably unforgettable view spoiler..Even if I really wish and want Bill s sad fate broked my heart I just want to sob for all these unlucky people Life could be so hard and unfair sometimes I just thanks heaven it is so much better now in most places Sigh hide spoiler

  5. says:

    3.5 starsHuh Well, one thing I m finding over and over again is we re all different Right I mean, you say potaytoe, I say potahtoe.I was really concerned about reading this book I ve been on an anti angst ride mostly all of 2013 But goals for 2014, while I m still motivated enough to keep them, included branching out and being brave And this meant reading stuff that might destroy my heart So, when I read everyone s shelves for this book yes, I read shelves before I read reviews It helps me avoid spoilers , I knew I was in for a tear fest.But imagine that a couple almost watery eyed moments, but not one drop in sight Which kinda confirms my theory that even though I m terrified of reading something that will break my heart I may actually not have a heart to begin with That s not to say that this book wasn t good and that it wasn t powerful at times What this book actually was was a bit schizophrenic We have a couple in contemporary times William Colby And it s a fun romantic tale of a divorced gay virgin and a flamboyant small town local boy The coupling is sweet and I, shockingly, didn t find either of them annoying at all and really just genuinely liked them Yay.William, while working on his dissertation, stays at an abandoned asylum dude, you re crazy meaning not certifiably crazy but why would anyone do this crazy.And then, there are these LETTERS William finds a tin box filled with letters from Bill, a man institutionalized for being gay back in his time written to his love The letters are at times beautiful, at times heartbreaking, at times made me feel completely hopeless and helpless, at times shocking, at times so powerful, I had to put the kindle down to just breathe And yes, they are emotional.But it was hard being affected by these letters on one page and then turning the next to the scene where Colby is wearing a dance whore shirt and prancing around in flip flops I mean, I understand, I think, what the author is doing showing we ve come a long way maybe To acceptance But, I was diving deep into this sea of emotion and kinda slapped back into reality the next moment It was frustrating at times.I love what Kim Fielding was trying to do with this story And I loved both sides to the tale I just didn t feel like they connected well enough Thankfully, the end was a great wrap up and there was such a feeling of accomplishment with our MC s I was so happy for them.All in all, I enjoyed this read a lot despite the minor whiplash.

  6. says:

    BR with my Friends Isabel and Eva This story was so much than I was expecting, and the whole book just ended up squeezing its way into my heart, I loved the characters, William and Colby , but what I loved was Bill s Letters And all the flashbacks In a nutshell it all just worked perfectly for me I was completely hooked from start to finish, and gosh, the emotions sigh I definitely recommend giving this one a go It was so very worth it for me I just wish we d have gotten time with them in the end

  7. says:

    I know what books like this will do to me I know it and I still read them I am going to promise myself though that I will not do extensive Googling about the treatment of homosexuality circa 1930 40 in insane asylums like I did after reading Hidden Away and spending hours learning and crying over the Pink Triangle Men that led to horrible nightmares for weeks Hi, I am Sara Did I mention I have OCD Ugh.The Tin Box was nothing like I expected it to be and that is one hell of a huge compliment This story was sad, it was absolutely and utterly heart breaking but in its darkness there was so much light and beauty.I don t know how much I can get out in this review I am a still a bit of an emotional mess What s new, right So the story begins with William Lyon taking a job as a caretaker at the now closed and run down Jelley s Valley State Insane Asylum He will be staying there to finish his dissertation William is a pretty solitary type of guy on his way to being divorced from a woman as he is now ready to be the best homosexual he can be Well, that s a bit Brian Kinney of me to say but it fits William takes a tour of the grounds, sees things that made him melancholy and me as well What s that That s the cemetery I don t see any gravestones There aren t any Sigh That place I expected to be spooky for some reason, some sort of Sessions 9 deal and although the hospital is a place where awful things took place, it s just very sad Really, really sad.When William decides to leave the grounds and head into Jelley Valley or JV to the locals we get to meet the bright and adorably addictive Colby Anderson I so loved the heck out of Colby I knew from the minute William, or as Colby calls him, Will, sees Colby I would love him and my instincts were right Colby is the perfect opposite for William though what lies at the core of each man is what draws them toward each other.So, we have William at the hospital nosying around when he finds THE tin box, the box that contains letters of a patient inmate named Bill coincidence with the name or fate I like to believe the latter The letters Bill writes are simply heart breaking He has been put there involuntarily by his family to be cured of being gay Just the though of that, even in 1938 hurts me to read it but the letters are such a deep part of the story Through Bills letters, William starts to see what he wants and needs in his life Though the William goes through a tough time on his own, it s nothing compared to what Bill goes through, what he documents through his letters.Now the letters and the present day take you back and forth in a way that I liked, a lot I loved that William would go about his daily life, see Colby at the store, take a few trips with him, have magical tamales and begin to settle in and then he would be drawn to the letters and let them, let Bills words take over For me, that is what reading does When I go about my daily life either at work or at home, picking up a book transports me I can be in renaissance England, on a ranch, solving murders with hot FBI Agents or following Rent Boys activities with their clients And when I put the book down either to for a break or I have finished, I am back to my reality For William, those letters did that and he would have to come out of that world, that horror, the isolation and desperation and come back to the now The letters are still a part of him, they stay with him, they change him and on some level help him make decisions and that is what good reading does, it stays with you and in some way becomes a part of you You fall in love with the characters in the book through their story You love them, hate the, laugh and cry with them I not only fell for the story of William and Colby but I fell for Bill and his Johnny as well.I loved the writing of Kim Fielding, this being my first book from her I do not think the story could have been any better It hurt me, but it made me laugh as well I swooned, I giggled, I cried and I got really pissed off at times Not by the actions of the author but at what ridiculous things people do, namely both of the William s families I cannot imagine ever treating my sons that way Ever Never It s just NO I can t change who I love any than I can make myself shorter I can I can stoop down I can pretend to be short But it s a lie So, yeah, this book It was amazing I will say that I loved it even though it was hard to read The subject was hard to read because things like that, treatment like that has happened It makes me sick, it really does But what I liked most about the story was where, why and how Colby and William find one another To quote a cheesy and ridiculous pop song that I have only heard a handful of times but the line is fitting, they found love in a hopeless place What a beautiful revelation, love between two men where ones were brought to be cured of the very same thing Bravo for that Well done.

  8. says:

    Thanks Kim Fielding for this wonderful book I did my reasearch after reading this and I was really angry to learn that all of the procedures done to Bill are real and they did happen And that being gay and in the old days could really earn you a spot in a mental institution It made me realize how lucky I am that Im gay in this day an age The last letter was especially difficult to read I had to to take a break and hug my partner, I was so upset huhu I love books like this where you get to see yourself in another person s life and then appreciate what you have right now I could have been Bill, you know This might sound like a depressing story but its not really You ll know what I mean if you will read the book I love Colby s character and William reminds me of myself, a total geek And there s a happy ending and a really great one Remember people, God is a being of love He does not punish He is not cruel He loves the good the bad and the ugly in you He does not see you as a man or woman, straight or gay He sees you as being of light and love He wants you to be happy and thats the ONLY thing he wants you to do.Sorry, Im being emotional and preachy This book has got me all riled up

  9. says:

    While working on his PhD dissertation Will acts as a caretaker at an old abandoned insane asylum He finds a tin box filled with letters written by a man sent there by his family for being homosexual Will reads the letters and begins a journey of discovery both for himself and for the writer This book and those letters devastated me I needed the story of Will and Colby for a bit of lightness but also a story that was dramatic but not in the emotionally tearing way of the letters Highly recommended, wonderfully written book.

  10. says:

    4.5 starsWhile the main story, set in the present, between William and Colby was a good tale of William s coming to terms with his long repressed sexuality with the help of the flamboyant Colby, it was the underlying tale told by letters from the 1930 s that is the heart of this book.William is acting as caretaker of a defunct asylum while working on his dissertation and finalizing his divorce when he finds a tin box of letters hidden in a wall Written by Bill, a former inmate who was committed against his will for breaking sodomy laws, the letters to his lover are both beautiful in his unwavering love and loyalty, yet contain a harrowing tale of the treatment he received for his so called sexual deviance William is no stranger to reparative treatment and is immediately taken in by Bill s tale and, along with Colby s encouragement, begins to embrace the man he really is.Both story lines are well written, but it is Bill s tale that will break your heart I highly recommend this story and look forward to from Kim Fielding.

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