The Strength to Move On *contains spoilers*

Love does not only provide positive feelings, but also the negatives. Caring and loving those special people may cause emotional pain and stress to the person’s well being. In this case, it changes the person’s thoughts and actions. The two main themes in the book Suffer Love is inevitably: forgiveness and the bonds of family. The book starts off with the perspective of one of the main characters, Hadley. The readers get to find out about her habits, but not yet why and how it reflects on her past. She has lost her faith in love and has given up on finding the right boy for each one has lied to her. And then there was Sam. Her life has changed for the better ever since she met him… Or did it? Little did she know that both their families were connected to reveal a secret that has kept her relationship with her family distant. Through the acknowledgment of  both character’s painful circumstances, Ashley Herring Blake reveals how when experienced with the agonizing truth, one must tolerate it and proceed to move forward.

         Starting with Hadley’s background: her family is basically what you would call broken. Her parents are cautiously trying to glue back the tiny pieces together by arranging dinners to eat together and talking about their day. It may seem like a normal thing to do, but it’s the atmosphere that never changes. Forced conversations with dragged out topics that seem like subjects that normally are discussed with a stranger. Ever since Hadley found the dreadful papers displayed all over her front door in red ink about her father’s affair, things went downhill. The mother, who would usually scream and curse the father’s name aloud while yelling in rage, was completely silent. The St. Clair family was never the same.

Sam Bennett: the new kid in school. He had just moved houses and schools and the first person he notices is the beautiful, Hadley St. Clair. His family situation is very much similar to hers. Sam lives with his mother and younger sister. Sam only ever talks to his sister, Livy, and rather tends to avoid his mom. His mother works all day so Sam learned how to do many house chores by himself, such as cooking and cleaning. His mother also had an affair by which was caught by the great Livy herself. Can you guess what the connection between the two families is? The father that has moved out, and the mother who is rarely at home, blame Sam for what was definitely the mom’s problem. Just like the current society we live in, humans love to blame others for what was obviously their wrongdoing. We love to be dominant and find ways to trick ourselves into thinking we are innocent.

Hadley’s father desperately wants things back to the way they were and tries so hard to get close to his daughter. (This was the part that almost made me cry.) When she was a child, her father told her that he would write inside his journal about her and give it to her on her 18th birthday. That journal symbolized the anchor that kept the ship steady and that was what brought Hadley to forgive her father. Even after everything, she learned that you can’t constantly be living in the past, or think too much about the future and what will happen. We have to focus on the present that is given to us before it becomes the past again, resulting in a cycle of wasted time. She tells this to Sam after saying they should just be friends and he slowly starts to believe in that philosophy, that the present is a gift that given, and we are the only ones who can accept it and weave it into our current lives. The ability to forgive is an important trait for humans to have since that’s when we are able to move forward without any regrets.

Overall, the love between family is far greater than the love you may feel with a significant other. Family may be the reason you are able to forgive, and family may be the reason you are able to move on. Do you know anybody with a family problem like this? I have a feeling it is more common than I thought it was. This book was able to shed light and awareness for families going through struggles like these. Learning and looking at things with a different point of view helped me to be a more considerate person and to know that everything you see may not always seem like what it is within the walls.

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