5 stars because there are no tears...

Listening To Dust - Brandon Shire

“There are a million beautiful things in this world, Miss Emily. I only wanted one, was that so bad?”

and now there are a million and one, this book so incredibly heartbreaking and beautiful. My only hesitation about giving it 5 stars was that what it really garnered from me were a million tears. The pain and suffering a family can inflict on each other when it ceases to be functional is so grippingly laid out in this story. Part way through I wanted to look away, stop reading it just hurt too damned much, but I couldn't...I needed to know.

 

“It’s not a bad thing, Dustin, but it’s not a thing we’re talking about. It’s your life, your human life at which you have exactly one chance to be happy. When do you get your chance? When do life’s requirements get put aside so you can find some peace too?”

Stephen and Dustin meet and somehow they find themselves in a relationship. It's complex, it's overshadowed by the past by obligations, by personal guilt and yet somehow there is love and all it's beauty waiting for them if they can grasp it and hold on...but still there are responsibilities tugging them apart...

 

“Don’t let it be a painful memory, Mr. Stephen.” Robbie advised. “Let it be in love, what you had, what he gave you, let it be that...”

Robbie, is the surprise in this book. Robbie with his simple ways and his insight that eludes those of us who want to create complex solutions when the simple answers are right there waiting to be seen if we let them.

 

This is a story that looks at the dark side of families and how they can destroy each other and ultimately overshadow other relationships. It's about love & hate and the spectrum of emotions that the can ultimately be altered by what was. It's not pretty, there are no hearts and flowers and for me the tears were unavoidable. Do I wish I hadn't read it? No, because it was an incredibly beautiful and moving story that will stay with me for a very, very long time.