This morning, I picked up my copy of Hug Everyone You Know by Antoinette Truglio Martin. I follow Martin’s blog, Stories Served Around the Table, and greatly enjoy her writing style. I figured I would read a few chapters each week, but…from the initial pages onward, I couldn’t put the book down. I finished the 300 pages in one day!
Instantly, I was transported to Martin’s living room, having coffee together and listening to her story, while her family and friends wandered in and out and delicious aromas drifted from her kitchen. I hung on her every word, cheered her bravery, cried at her heartbreak, laughed at her wit and admired her gumption. I thought of my own family and friends in similar situations. I gained a much deeper understanding of the infinite complexities behind their smiles and reassurances when they say “everything is okay.”
Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage and Cancer is a heartfelt memoir. It reminds us to never lose sight of the importance of family, friends, community, kindness and compassion. It is told with warmth, honesty, and humour. It’s one of those books that gets into your soul and makes a difference. I know that Martin’s story will stay with me for quite some time.