6 Emotional Stars!!!
WOW! WOW! OMG! I am totally speechless. This is the hardest book I read in a while – it’s emotional, sad, tear jerker for sure. I developed a huge lump in my throat the whole time reading, and I was a crying mess when I finished. This is a fair warning… The Hard Truth About Sunshine is no lovefest, rose or sunshine. It deals with some really tough issues such as suicide, sexual abuse, cancer and a little bit about war. In one particular scene I found it so gruesome I was literally gaging. I am having a hard time looking at red meat right now … I think I let my imagination run a little wild from that scene but I think it is also because I work in healthcare, taking care of veterans. I see and hear things there so I can definitely relate to what the author talks about.
Okay so I am probably scaring you by now but to be honest the whole experience is worth it to me because the story is brilliant. This book is nothing like the fun, sexy stories that I used to read from Sawyer Bennett. I see a totally different side of her and I like it a lot. Also, I am always looking for a rare and unique story – something that leaves a mark deep in my soul long after the last page is turned and this book did that for me!
Christopher is a badly damaged body and soul. He is furious at the world, at life, at his situation, at God, at everyone. He has a deep distrust for his family and his girlfriend who abandoned him when he needed them the most. Suffering from PTSD, he falls into a deep depression so much that he thinks about ending his life. But it was his drinking, drugging, and violent behavior that lands him in group therapy where he meets Jillian, Barb, and Connor. To Christopher, attending therapy sessions to talk about his feelings is worse than a death sentence. So to get out of these kumbaya sessions or face jail time Christopher volunteers to drive his four group mates across the country so that Connor can see the Pacific Ocean for the first and last time. There are four main characters – Jillian is soft spoken, beautiful, sweet, kind and she is slowly losing her sight. Barb is angry but fragile. She suffered abuse at the hands of her own family member who was someone she trusted. She cried out for help but it was no use … sometimes it just feels too much and nothing in life is worth living. Connor is a kind soul, a nice boy who was just handed a death sentence of terminal cancer. His only wish is to see the Pacific Ocean and maybe cross off a few other things on his bucket list along the way. And so, four people – all with different backgrounds and circumstances embark on an adventurous journey and within their travels they learn the truth about love, loss, hope and life.
I cannot tell you how much this book means to me. I have taken care of the veterans for the last 16 years of my career and I understand some of the pain and suffering the veterans went through – but regretfully not in depth because most people don’t talk about it for reasons the author described. I have to be honest though I have said “thank you for your service” thousands of times over the years and not one single person has answered “I don’t want your thanks”. So, I am not sure what to make of the young man who told the author as such at the airport other than one might feel we are patronizing them. We say it but we don’t really understand what it is like to lose a limb. Either way, I cannot begin to imagine what these veterans went though, what they have seen, who they have lost. So still I’m saying “my hat is off to you and I do thank you for your service to the country”.
I don’t know what else to say other than The Truth About Sunshine is heart-breakingly beautiful, honest, poignant. I was emotionally drained but consumed and captivated all the same. But don’t fret, there are also a few humorous & cute moments and of course a sweet beautiful love story (not a typical sexy romance though so don’t expect panty dropping hot sex). This is one of those books that you have to feel though the pain and sadness. I promise in the end you will be rewarded with an overwhelming satisfaction of having read a profound, brilliant and unforgettable story that will leave a mark on your life. One of the best I read this year. Be brave and give it a try!!!!