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.
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions. A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone. Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.
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Caroline's Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gosh, WOWZERS! What a departure from this author's usual raunchier works.
This was an AMAZING and MOVING story.
Four incongruous people embark on a road trip across America. This journey will change their outlook and their lives forever.
“Each one of us hates our life. It’s a burden for us. It’s unfair. It’s nothing but misery and torment…”
Four people with seemingly nothing in common come together in a therapy group. They are all troubled in one way or another. Two are approachable and talkative, whilst the other two are snarky and standoffish.
“I am a man who cannot be redeemed.”
Told from the POV of Christopher Barlow, who is an ex-Marine and amputee. He’s wallowing in bitter, angry darkness. He’s forced to go to the therapy group in lieu of going to jail. There he meets Jillian, who he’s attracted to and emanates lightness; Connor, who’s dying of cancer; and Barb, who has a perpetual death wish.
The road trip across America is for Connor to see the Pacific Ocean before he dies. Along the way, he has a number of bucket list items to tick off.
“She actually radiates light. Happiness. Joy. Invincibility regardless of her situation.”
What starts off as a difficult journey taken by four quite different people, ends up being a real journey of discovery and self-discovery. It’s a story about love, friendship, despair, and faith. It’s a story about the strength of the human spirit, as well as its fragility.
“Jillian makes me want to believe in the possibility of happiness, and I vow to myself that I’m going to have her show me how it’s done.”
This was such an incredible, emotional, and heartbreaking journey. It was stunning and poignant watching how this motley quartet bonded, and how they affected one another. Christopher begins the story full of anger at his situation. He spews his bitterness over everyone, however, Jillian, the epitome of goodness and sunshine, pierces his darkness with her brightness, giving him a new lease of life and making him view everything with new eyes.
Thoroughly, thoroughly recommend this novel. Top Read 2017.