Oh, Jonathan! I think that was the first thought that rushed through my mind after reading the last few sentences of Hans Hirschi’s, Jonathan’s Hope. I simply adore books, when you finish reading them you feel devastatingly happy, which in my world is a mix of pure bliss mixed with complete and utter heartbreak.
I’ve read many books in my life, there are many that has touched me in different ways, and that I’ll always remember, Jonathan’s Hope will become another one of those books that will not only get that special place on my bookshelf those books you have that you want to read again, but you dread doing so because you know that emotional turmoil they will bring, but will be of great inspiration.
Jonathan’s Hope, is about a young man, who is a couple weeks shy of his 18th birthday when the book starts. He’s driven out into the woods by his parents and left there to die for no other reason than because he’s gay. His father is a troubled man, a monster really, who has lost all faith in himself as well as in humanity. The only way for him to be able to live with himself and his own pain, to be able to take that next breath, is to inflict pain on others. At first I hated Jonathan’s father by the end I felt nothing but sadness and how society with its bigotry had failed yet another person.
Jonathan is more or less freezing and starving to death in the woods, trying to find his way, when a man and his dog appear and lead the way to a remote cabin in the woods, where the man, Dan and his dog lives. Spite his shyness, Jonathan finds the courage to knock on the door to the cabin and asks for help.
Dan, who one year prior, to Jonathan showing up on his doorstep, lost his partner and love of his life, Sean, in a hunting accident, lives a quiet and isolated life in their cabin that he and Sean renovated together. He is refusing to live life to it’s fullest, missing his Sean every day. That day when the knock on the door comes, he’s startled and almost shocked to who was out there, and when he finds the half frozen to death young man on his doorstep all of Dan’s own worries, pain and focus on himself disappears and all he ses is a young man in distress who need his help.
Over the next coming weeks, and months, you get to follow this amazing journey of two individuals, their own journeys and the one that they take together. Dan becomes the family that Jonathan never had, show’s him simple pleasures, as enjoying a real good cup of coffee, getting presents, eating food of the gods, and learn how it is to be love and love right back. Dan’s heart gets a chance to heal, when he himself learns that if a man is real lucky he will have more than one great love in a life, one better than the other, just different. In Jonathan he finds life, a reason for living. Dan finds the will to fight for himself and for Jonathan and together they fight for each other, to be together.
This is not just some random love story, with a 30 year old man falling in love with a man 13 years his junior, or a boy that has been so severely abused by his father since birth, that learning the simple joy of coffee is like winning the lottery. Well at least not only that because obviously it is about love and finding it for the first time or again, but it is also about finding yourself, learning your own value and to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. It is about not hating those who done you wrong but being able to forgive them for what they done to you, so you can move on and start living the life you deserve.
The end, if the ending had been the last chapter that I know from Hans was the end, without the epilogue, this would still have been a great book, but with the epilogue it became a fantastic book. The epilogue is what made Jonathan’s Hope become full circle. It is the epilogue that wraps up what this entire book is about, and again Hans Hirschi shows us how important family ties are to him, how influenced maybe he is and in reality we all are by where we come from, but spite our genes, our past and the environment we are brought up in we all have a choice in who we become. Cruelty doesn’t necessarily give birth to cruelty, no, instead the choice is always in our own hands to turn the boat around and sail towards our own destination, even if we have to sail in headwind most of the time, there will always be a harbor waiting for us to arrive safely.
You can find Hans on the following social medias:
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.