***** 2017 Kindle Book Awards WINNER - Literary Fiction *****
New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett has written her most gripping and poignant tale yet. Provocatively heart-breaking, audaciously irreverent and romantically fulfilling, The Hard Truth About Sunshine exposes just how very thin the line is between a full life and an empty existence.
Despite having narrowly escaped death's clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It's only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life.
What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again... can he learn to love again?
He's about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can't decide whether she wants to live or die.
Four people with nothing in common but their destination. They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss and love. And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.
The hard truth about sunshine...
Warning: This book deals with some tough issues including suicide and sexual abuse.
Absolute must read!!
WOW...now that I've gotten past the huge ugly cry this emotionally charged story brought on I am going to try and write a somewhat comprehensible review. First and foremost - if you haven't purchased your copy of this one, go, now, do it!!! Five stars is not nearly enough to describe the story that is contained in this book. It will pull out every emotion contained within you from joy to sadness, from happiness to anger, you will feel something from every single page. I don't want to get into too much of the story because you will want to experience everything yourself as you turn the pages. Just know that even though it will make you cry (yes, even the hardest hearts will cry) it is a story that will leave you with hope. Hope for a brighter tomorrow and the life it contains.
HIGHLY Recommend this book!
Every once in a while you read a book that will really affect you and you can't write the review right away because you need time to process the story. That is what this book did to me. This story is not a typical romance type of story, even though there is a romance. I would probably classify this book as more woman's lit.
A group of 4 individuals are in group therapy for different reasons. Two by choice, two forced by the law. Each person is so different and unique but at the same time they all do have something in common...therapy. Mags is their therapy leader.....loved her!
The story is told from Christopher Barlow's point of view. Christopher is 26 years old and an ex-marine who was wounded in action and lost one of his legs and two fingers over a year ago. To say Christopher is mad at the world is an understatement. He is one of the people being forced into therapy.
Jillian Martel is 21 years old and has depression because of being diagnosed with Kearns-Sayre Syndrome, which means she will eventually be blind. She also has cardiomyopathy because of the eye disease. When Jillian speaks she is always happy and upbeat, something that Christopher is drawn to because of his dark world.
Barb Stiles is 24 years old and looks like a goth chick. She is mad at the world and doesn't talk and is being forced into therapy by the law.
Connor McCann is almost 18 years old and has alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer and only has a few months left to live. He has accepted that he is going to die and wanted to go to therapy just to be around people.
The group has to meet each week and are suppose to discuss their feelings. Christopher and Barb never do. Jillian came up with an idea that the group should go on a week long trip to help cross off many of the things on Connor's bucket list before he dies. Mag's agrees to this and if Christopher and Barb go, they will not have to finish the rest of their weeks of therapy. Both of them reluctantly agree as long as Christopher can drive.
The main story is about the group's trek out west from North Carolina to the Pacific Ocean. They camp and stay in hotels along the way and they slowly start to open up to each other. Some of the things this group did along the way was funny, sweet, swoon worthy and then down right sad. I just adored how they ended up all becoming good friends. Be prepared for a REALLY emotional ride the last 1/4 of the book....I mean a really good cry....but don't let that stop you from reading this story. It was wonderful and I would highly recommend it...tears and all.
Words fail me in trying to explain my reaction to The Hard Truth of Summer by Sawyer Bennett. This is not her usual, sexy novel. It is a story of four misfits who meet in a therapy group, two, who are court ordered, and the cross-country field trip they take. The story is told through Christopher’s voice. Christopher is an angry veteran injured in the line of duty and deserted by his family and girl as he heals. He sees no good in the world around him and in himself. On the journey he is accompanied by a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who doesn’t know if she wants to live or die. Four people with nothing in common, encounter adventure, thrills, love and loss as they learn about and from one another.
This was an intriguing and interesting story with very authentic characters. Ms. Bennett wrote an excellent story teller capturing the reader in the web of this story. Despite being a difficult story to read, I still highly recommend this book to other readers.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.