So short, so sweet...

The Art of the Heart - Dan Skinner

First love, puppy love, forever love. Love comes in so many different forms but the most painful is unrequited love. Knowing that person who holds your heart in the palm of their hands doesn't return your feelings and never will...well is there really anything more painful?


Zac is in love. Which is not such a big deal...unless you're a young man growing up in a small town, living on a ranch with little hope of life offering much else and you're gay with a neighbour who is everything you dream about except for one thing he's not gay.


First love can be painful enough but to realize that your love will never be returned is heartbreaking. Zac turns to his drawing to console himself and ease that pain giving himself his own world to turn to when reality becomes overwhelming and in the end it is the world he has created within the pages of a sketchbook that offer him the comfort and hope of a life beyond his parents farm.


I loved watching Zac grow up and all the glimpses into his thoughts and feelings leading up to the dreamlike ending where like Zac, I was left wondering what was real and what was dream. My heart ached for this young man who had the potential to be so much more than the son of a farmer if only he could reach for it.


To me, The Art of the Heart wasn't a love story not in the traditional sense. It was about growing up, finding yourself and ultimately having the strength to believe in yourself.

We weren't left with a pretty bow on the package at the end of this, but instead the author left us with a real life ending which can sometimes be just a little messy and filled with heartache and hope, opportunities and possibilities and the happily ever afters aren't neatly packaged with a bow so we have to keep looking for them and believing they're out there waiting to be found.

(show spoiler)