Okay. Wow. I planned to post this review on the 28th of March, when the book officially comes out, but I just can’t help thinking about it. Hence, here I am waxing all sorts of poetic about Sawyer Bennett’s newest release, “The Hard Truth About Sunshine.”
“Hard Truth” is so completely, 100%, abso-freaking-lutely different from other Bennett books that it just caught me with my panties down. Not literally, of course, but you know what I mean. It’s a story told from the point-of-view of Christopher Barlow, a medically discharged Marine and amputee who’s suffering from PTSD and depression. He was legally ordered to enter into group therapy, where he meets three other people who are also facing their own tragic dilemmas: a girl going blind, a suicidal and understandably bitchy rape survivor, and a dying teenager diagnosed with cancer. They travel together cross-country, and somewhere along the way, from the East Coast to the West, the four form an unusual bond. Christopher falls in love with one of his co-patients. Barb… sigh, well, it’s another Barb I want to come back. And, the “Dead Kid.” He kinda broke me.
Ms. Bennett typically writes erotic contemporary romance, but don’t expect that here. She wrote about the instance in an airport that inspired “Hard Truth,” and it also made me think. What if it happened to me? How’d I react? Perhaps I may not write such a mind-blowing book, but I’d certainly reflect much deeper about how others perceive themselves versus how I initially think they should react.
Besides all the feels for the 4 characters, Ms. Bennett stayed true to her male POV narration. It was as if it was a guy talking directly to me from my e-reader. There wasn’t a lot of sexy details shared – and you know what? It was perfectly all right. Christopher’s narrative tone was apt for his story, and the love he suddenly felt blossoming for his friend Julianne was still hugely apparent as I flew through the pages.
Now, the “hard truth” I personally face is this: what the heck am I gonna read now that I’ve finished “The Hard Truth About Sunshine?” I think I’m ruined.