Hope Burned - Brent LaPorte
E-book from NetGalley
Published by ECW Press - October 2010
A father sits down to write a letter to his son explaining why his hands are covered in blood. He journeys back through his childhood on the farm, through the captivity, torture, and brutality that he suffered from the men he just killed - his father and his grandfather. A reflection on a solitary landscape, this bleak yet move family tragedy details three generations of abuse, where the birth of a newborn forces the question, Is it better to live or die?
I really have mixed feelings about this book. I was completely thrown off by there not being chapters or anything. I understand that it was supposed to be written like a letter from a father to son, but it was so lengthy that at times I felt like it should have just been in a standard story format (if there is such a thing).
While I did complain a little about the format of the story, I also liked it. I feel like writing is one of the greatest ways to get out feelings and emotions, and this story just proved that further. I wish that "Tom" didn't have to go through all of those things in his life, but the sad fact of the matter is -- thousands of people struggle with physical abuse each day. It takes a lot for someone to write something on such a touchy/"taboo" topic. At times I just became enraged at Tom's father and couldn't understand how you could not love the boy you created.
I did fall in love with most of the characters in the book that Tom meets after he flees the farm. All in all I really thought that this was going to be a heartwarming story by the end of it (even though I knew that the narrator was writing the letter to his son after having just killed his father and grandfather). I know that might sound naive, but I kind of thought it would end well for everyone. This was a very heartbreaking story, with an incredible twist at the end. I am still a little shocked (after two days) at the ending. I never saw that coming!
I would recommend this only to people that would be in the mood for it. It is a dark story, and not one that you could just pick up and start reading. You would really have to be in the right frame of mind for this book. I enjoyed it, even though there were parts that made me cringe/cry/angry/annoyed...
3 out of 5 stars