Book Review: Holding on to Hurt, Charlotte Roth

Holding on to Hurt

By: Charlotte Roth

“We’ve got to hold on to even the tiniest sliver of hope.” ~ Charlotte Roth, Holding on to Hurt

Length: 229 pages

Published: May 20, 2017

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


Irene Hurt’s life is perfect and she cherishes every moment with her son and her husband, until … the day she gets the call every mother dreads. Her son, Scottie is injured in a mass school shooting and is rushed to the ICU, where he’s put into a medically induced coma to wait out his fate. Devastated, her husband pulls away and even tries to convince Irene to remove Scottie’s life support, to save his son from a life of lesser existence. But, Irene refuses to give up hope.

On her journey through grief, denial, anger and finally, acceptance, Irene discovers more about the events of that tragic day, the boy who shot her son and then took his own life, and the husband she thought she knew and could trust. Will Scottie pull through? Or, will Irene accept that sometimes, the best thing a mother can do for her child is let go?

Set in the darkest hours of winter in Seattle, Holding on to Hurt tells the gripping story of one mother’s fight to keep her son alive, no matter what she has to sacrifice.

Book Trailer:


Ladies and gentlemen grab your box of tissue, favorite blanket and snuggle in your best reading spot because the tears, the tears are coming.

In the world we live in, school shootings, as sadly as it sounds has become the normal. When I was in school I only had to worry about fire drills, but my children now have to do intruder drills, in the event of a shooter entering the building. That’s a sad truth. Last year the school district I live in had 2 scares and one suicide. This is reality. This is world we are faced with today.

Schools are supposed to be a safe place for our children. But what happens when it’s not. What happens when you life….stops? What happens when you get that call. This is Irene’s story. A story in which I hope I and every other parent never has to receive.

Irene has it all, the perfect life, perfect home, friends, family and son. Until it happens. When you have a child your whole life prospective changes. It really does. They come before you in every aspect and form.

Roth was able to take a subject that is so heart wrenching and put into words to create a story that will leave you feeling every emotion you can possibly feel. I have never read a book that has made me cry so much and yet feel so thankful at the same time. Thankful that I myself did not have to face this event.

When a shooting happens you often hear about the children & teachers who passed or injured , you hear about the shooter(s), about their family and upbringing. You never get the full story. You never see how these families deal with the suffering, the loss, the pain, and most importantly the forgiveness needed to heal.

Throughout this book you see how Irene deal with this first hand. While the secondary storyline follows other members in the family and close friends on how they are dealing with it as well. I found it compelling that Roth was able to showcase so many points of view while still focusing on Irene. You feel the raw emotions of knowing your son was shot, you feel his father fear of losing his son and just how vulnerable everyone becomes. You see a marriage, friendship and faith tested all within one book. One amazing written book.

An event like this doesn’t just take people, it can destroy families. You’re able to see a family fall apart, fall apart trying to understand each other but clinging to hope without the highest of expectations. Like I said you’ll want your tissues a very big box of tissues.

While the subject matter at hand is sensitive, it was beautifully captured. I would recommend this book to everyone not just for the book, but so that you’ll see just how fortunate you are.

Brace yourself for the emotional roller coaster you will take with Holding on to Hurt.

20 thoughts on “Book Review: Holding on to Hurt, Charlotte Roth

Add yours

  1. Great review! It sounds like a interesting yet sad story to read! You are right too on how much school has changed for kids – it’s crazy! I will have to check out the book. 😊❤️


  2. There is nothing more horrifying than being in front of a class of students and getting a lockdown signal. It happened twice while I was teaching. Fortunately, nothing too major happened. This world is crazy. I might look into this one but it may be too much to deal with and any time there are kids, I get squeamish.


    1. My kids came home from school with a note explaining that they would be starting this a few years ago. It really shows what kind of world we live in today.


  3. The trailer really drew me in. How can it not? This is such a gripping story; so much of it is true to the world we live in now. I want to read it, but have to wait until I’ve got the time to just do nothing but read because I probably wouldn’t be able to put it down.


  4. What a great review. This book seems so interesting. I will definitely put this on my book list. I am looking forward to reading this book.


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