‘People will tell you the devil's a liar. They say he was from the start. The father of lies and all that stuff. But I don’t believe it. No. He tells the truth. You wouldn’t think you would be fooled with the truth. But you can.Living with the devil.It is not an easy thing to do.’
This book kept me gripped from beginning till end. I could not put it down and consumed the pages within days of starting to read What Beauty There Is. Cory Anderson is not afraid to delve into the darker side of life and though there are tough themes and issues it is without a doubt important that they exist in books as they do in real life.
One of the main themes that stood out for me was the importance of family and in particular the power of a siblings love and protection. Jack Dahl will do anything to keep him and his brother together, he will not allow anyone to separate them and take his little brother into social care. The lengths that loved ones will go to stay together and protect one another is such a strong survival instinct in Jack that I and hopefully no one else could resist or fault him for going to the lengths that he does for his little brother Matty.
There is a pervading darkness to What Beauty There Is but shot through with moments of love and of course beauty, of hope! Some lives are full of real struggles and it seems those that live with very little happiness or hope but I think what Jack and Ava show us is that there are rare moments that shine through and you have to grab onto them with both hands and live for those small and transient moments to get through the pain and struggles.
If there is one book that you read this year I urge you to make it What Beauty There Is because for wherever there is pain and struggle there is also someone who possesses a fierce amount of love and protection that saves you from drowning. Someone who makes life worth living and choses to overcome the struggles for the people that matter the most, for the relationships that truly matter and gives you a reason to keep living.
“All things you choose to hold in your heart,” he says, “ have the capacity for pain.” He looks at her, looks hard. “Be careful what you choose.”
Winter. The sky
is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.
Jack Morton has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he'd do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.
Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack's trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.
Choices. They come at a price.
"Look at me. We aren’t going to die if I give you two dollars." Matty looked at him. Those eyes gripped him. "Okay." "Do you believe me?" "Yes" "We're alright." Matty looked at Jack's hands and looked away. There is no description of stupid, Jack thought, that you don’t fit. He said again, "We're alright." "Okay"
He whispered, “You don’t trust anyone. Do you? I don’t either. You see people. They’re smiling. Going to classes or to the movies. Doing homework at the library or out at the store with friends.” He tried to gather the right words. “You think, maybe you can be like that. One day. Maybe it can be like that.”