One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. ― Sophocles
Goose bumps and tears. That’s what this book gave me, goose bumps and tears. Pretty nifty, that, I think, because it means an author has not only written a story that has provoked an emotional response but a physical one as well, and to do that, to keep me so invested in the lives of her characters that a single name causes me to shiver and tear up at the same time, I’m thinking that’s what’s called…voodoo witchcraft. No, not that, but it’s something really, really good.
If you fell in love with Cole Fenton and Jonathan Kechter in Strawberries for Dessert and couldn’t get enough of them in Paris A-Z, then fear not, because Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding will likely send you into fits of the giddies for the sheer love of these two men and the turn their lives are taking. There is pain and promise and expectation tempered by fear but founded in hope in this installment of the lives and love of these two men, who are setting out on a journey from which there is no turning back, one in which each step forward will be marked with a discord of emotions and a revisiting of the past that holds promise for the future.
Jon and his father, George, tell this story, but there is never a moment’s doubt that this chapter in their lives belongs entirely to Cole, as he alternately advances and retreats, both emotionally and physically, as is his way. But there comes a point in a man’s life when forward is the only direction left to travel, regardless of how terrifying that may be, and sometimes that means exhuming the things you’ve buried because dredging them up and examining them and admitting aloud that they hurt you is the only way to exorcise them, and to put paid to that hurt, and to give someone a second chance to be a part of your life rather than living with the regret of never having tried at all.
Fear, Hope, and Bread Pudding is both an opening and a closure, a beginning of the most humbling and terrifying journey a person can set out on, and a closure of the most painful and bitter journey a person may travel. Marie Sexton doesn’t pull any punches in this book. This one was meant to go straight for the emotional jugular and her aim is true. There is so much joy to be found at the end of this story, though, that it was almost easy to forget my heart was in a vice grip the entire way through. And it was so worth it.