One of my favourite book-bloggers told me a week ago, “Deepika, The Honest Truth is for you.” I read his awesome introduction, and saw this jacket.
I told the guys at Amazon, “Just shut up, and take my money.” And thus, the book arrived in all its glory. 🙂
I must confess that Mark’s story is moving and uplifting. The 12-year-old cancer-stricken boy runs away from everything, because the ghosts from his past return. He doesn’t want to fight this time. He listens to his heart, and heads to Mt. Rainier. On his way, he meets strangers who are kind, not-so-kind, and cruel. He is angry. He is sick. He is pathetic. But, he chooses not to derail, and continues to travel towards the mountain with his phenomenal furry friend Beau.
Things do not unfold as he expects. Of course. But, amidst all the chaos, Mark’s anger evaporates, and in his words, “everything begins to make sense.”
Besides his companion Beau, Mark has a best friend called Jessie, who is his secret-keeper. The duo exchange notes, which are nothing but adorable haiku. My heart warmed when I learned that the kids wrote haiku. Nerdy kids! 🙂
The Honest Truth is replete with passages that would stay with me forever. Not just because I am an ardent animal lover, but Dan Gemeinhart’s prose is simple, and the thoughts are profound.
“When I turned to go, I felt the bulge in my pocket. I took a shaky breath and pulled out the watch. It was an old-fashioned silver pocket watch with a round glass face. A present from my dear grandpa. I bit my lip, hard. I could feel it ticking in my hand. Tick. Tick. Tick. Time, running out. Here’s what I don’t get: why anybody would want to carry something around that reminds you that your life is running out.”
“Should she bring him back, and save him? Or save him and let him go?
It wasn’t fair. To be so sad and so confused at the same time. She had too much to decide, and too much to feel. She was lost.
What should a friend do?
How to help, when helping and
hurting are the same?”
“That’s a good dog you’ve got there,” he said, tickling Beau’s head. Beau’s tail thumped against the seat. “Yeah. He is a good one.”
“Everybody oughta have a dog,” he said thoughtfully, his hand still scratching Beau. “Dogs teach you love and kindness. They remind you what’s important.” He nodded and took a sip of his coffee. “A life ain’t much of a life without a dog in it, s’what I always said.”
“Yeah.” I let my forehead drop against the cool of the window. All the thoughts I’d had walking had followed me inside. Like ghosts, haunting me. “But dogs die,” I said quietly, almost to myself. “Sure. Course they do. But their dying don’t make their livin’ worth any less.”
Like me, if your life’s purpose is also to read every book that has an animal in it, then you must read The Honest Truth. Even if that isn’t your purpose, you must still try reading The Honest Truth, because it’s sincere, and it deserves a lot of readers. 🙂