14 Aug 2017

Review: Holding on to Hurt

'' But we cannot give up hope. We've got to hold on to even the tiniest sliver of hope. We have to. ''


To what you compare the grief and sorrow of losing someone close to you? Most people can't find any comparisons but would talk about the memories of the past and the missed opportunities of the future. There isn't a thing you can compare it to. And that is what Holding on to Hurt is all about. Experiencing grief, trying to cope with the reality of the situation, and fear of losing hope.

The story is told through Irene Hurt's eyes. She is the wife of Bruce Hurt and a loving mother to Scott. Then one day her worst fears come through: Scott is in the hospital because of a school shooting. And after his surgery, he is not waking up.

The book explores the question what if and why a lot. It won't give answers to any of them, but it really, really makes you think. I haven't experienced this kind of sorrow in my life yet, but all of us will face it sometime in our lives. This story really brings out the hard side of the situation. No making things pretty and that is one of the most beautiful aspects of this book. There is no holding back with the narration, every emotion is displayed in its rawness.

Another great point this book makes is the question of who to blame. When thinking of a school shooting, most of us would at first, really briefly, blame the one holding the gun. The owner of the hand who pulled the trigger must be the one to blame, right? But then we realise that the story goes deeper. None of us is born with the drive to kill, something, nevertheless how small, must have happened in the past. Again, the book won't give you the right answer, it doesn't tell you to hate the shooter. It makes you think, who is the one to really blame? The one that left the guns lying around, the one that wrote 'How to shoot a gun' -manual online? Or the people who didn't notice what was going to happen before it was too late? If we ponder all these questions we get to realise that nothing is straightforward. 

The true beauty of the book is not in complexity and three-dimensionality of the characters nor in the unencouraging environment they are residing in. The beauty is in the rawness and the narration. Leaving nothing out as you get to feel the incomprehensible reality of possibly losing all hope.

Really, just go and read it.

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