Reads Rainbow is a blog dedicated to LGBT media publishing reviews, recommendations and information about upcoming LGBT content, be it books, movies, TV shows or music. In March 2022, Reads Rainbow posted a list called Gay Books for the Soul, including Going to Beautiful and said this about the book:
Reasons to Read
One. This is a book full of love for small towns and their communities. It’s a book about found families and biological families, and sometimes somehow loving the latter despite everything. The mystery is the vehicle for all of this and I think that’s probably my favourite use of mystery plots.
Two. Speaking of the mystery, though, it’s a slowburning one. It’s less that it’s a mystery from the outset, but more than, on arriving in Beautiful, Jake slowly discovers there to be a mystery. That slow build is very effective in this book, because it’s about a town, or rather, family of secrets. Secrets Eddie kept from Jake, that his family keep from the town, and secrets that the town itself keeps. The slow uncovering of secrets keeps you on your toes and keeps you turning the pages.
Three. One of the central themes of this book is grief: it opens with Jake losing his husband, and really, it’s less a mystery novel per se, than an exploration of grief and coming to terms with loss. I said it’s a book about love, and I think that’s also key to this point: you don’t have grief without love and this book carefully, beautifully interweaves the two. In losing Eddie, Jake comes to know the town and community that Eddie left behind and he comes to love them. They don’t replace Eddie, but they sit alongside Jake’s love for him.
You can see more at: Reads Rainbow