The Sun in a Tear

The Sun in a Tear

Narrativa

Fiction - Realistic
132 Pages
Reviewed on 10/27/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Sooner or later, each of us will lose a loved one or friend as a result of illness or old age. When it happens, the heartache and feelings of loss and emptiness are devastating. For Luca Favaro, author of The Sun in a Tear, the heartache of that loss was an often repeated and unanticipated experience once he became a male nurse in hospitals and long term care facilities in Northern Italy. Little did a young Luca expect that he could come to mean so much to his patients, or they to him. As a super shy young boy growing up, he felt so alone and distant from his father and dismissed by his family, that he was considered the black sheep. When in his early working years the family heard a patient speak highly of him, his mother heartlessly asked if that person was sure he/she was speaking of her son.

But yes, that person was speaking of Luca, and as one reads about the relationships Luca Favaro developed with many of his terminally ill patients in The Sun in a Tear, it’s easy to see why he found such love and a sense of belonging he never enjoyed in his family home. Each patient he tended came to love Luca for the beautiful person he is as a result of how he looked after them and cared for them beyond the call of duty. He mourned each of them when they passed and readers mourn with him. Along the way too, Luca learned so much from each of these patients. He learned that "Being capable does not mean being capable of doing everything, but it means to be able to recognize our limits and stop to burden others with them. If we can't do something, there is someone else who will,” and that “The true man is the one who is also able to cry without shame, with dignity” because “Tears are very important to re-establish the psychological balance of human beings.” He learned that “In some life moments there aren't wiser answers than silence” and came to the conclusion, when working with Alessandro, that "In some ways the mentally disabled, being so childlike and simple, are happier than we are. They don't grow into prejudiced, judgmental human beings."

When Luca tells us about how 200 guests stood around celebrating and enjoying themselves at Christmas while their wealthy host’s wife, the very ill, diabetic Lucia, lay alone and forgotten in a corner of that room, we feel Luca’s justified anger and sadness. And we nod our heads in agreement when Luca Favaro reminds us that what the elderly need is not to be advised, not to be judged, but to be listened to. So true. If you don’t read the introduction to The Sun in a Tear, you may not realize that what you are reading is a translation. As a result, some expressions are awkward and the spelling and grammar are far from perfect. But it doesn’t matter. That is the last thing you will remember about this beautiful book. Read it and grown in love, as Luca Favaro did.

Gisela Dixon

The Sun in a Tear (Narrativa) is a collection of stories and experiences from the life of Luca Favaro. Luca is a nurse serving patients in Italy and these are his experiences with patients in a critical stage or toward the end of life. The book begins with Luca’s introduction of his life and career and interest in nursing. Then what follows is a collection of chapters, each dedicated to one patient or person he treated and cared for as a nurse in a professional capacity. There are several stories of people from all backgrounds and walks of life who are suffering from a terminal illness, including several cases of cancer. Luca recounts his experiences caring for his patients, either in a hospital or house setting, and the various experiences he has had not only with individual patients, but also their families and friends and even communities as whole.

The Sun in a Tear (Narrativa) is an interesting read, although since most of the talk is centered around terminal disease and death, it naturally makes for heavy reading at times. It does offer a glimpse into the lives and especially end moments of some of his patients, and once again highlights how polar opposite or different individual lives and experiences can be from each other. Naturally, friends, family, and the people one knows form an important part of the equation and this is discussed in the book. The writing flows at a consistent pace and, overall, this is a useful read for anyone interested in learning more about the nursing profession, and just about life and mortality of human beings.

Jessica Barbosa

Luca Favaro's The Sun in A Tear centers around the lives of different people struggling with their own troubles and sicknesses, seen through the eyes of a nurse who cares for them. This is the story of how they all impacted him and taught him things about life that he would never forget.

Reading Favaro's The Sun in A Tear has truly changed my view on people and the world in general. The stories of all these different people fighting different battles in their own way, and all struggling to live for themselves and their families, made my heart ache for them. Life is indeed short and, when you least expect it, it could be taken away from you; we should all appreciate it as much as we can. This heartwarming and heartbreaking tale inspired me and taught me not to take life for granted, and helped me to better understand the emotions of people who struggle because of their sicknesses. It also allowed me a glimpse of what nurses feel when they develop a connection with their patients and see them struggle.

Every word in the book won my sympathy. It made me cry for those who lost their fight against fate, and it helped me appreciate even more the strength of these people as they went through the hardest part of their lives. I shed a few tears over this book and I felt that it had taken a part of my heart with it when I finished this beautiful piece of work.

Maria Beltran

The Sun in a Tear by Luca Favaro is actually the life story of an unlikely nurse and a compelling collection of the true tales of the men and women that came under his care. The son of a bar manager, the author grew up with a love/hate relationship with his bar manager father. After school and faced with the choice of working in the bar or continue schooling, he decided to become a nurse. Thus began a journey that involves caring for the sick and getting to know the real persons behind his ailing patients. There's the mysterious Letezia, a beautiful woman with an ovararian tumor, whose desire to enjoy her life burned up to the very end. Elvio, on the other hand, is stricken with multiple sclerosis and seemingly refuses to have human contact outside his own family. These are their stories.

Luca Favaro's The Sun in a Tear starts off with a short autobiography and continues to tell the stories mostly of those who succumbed to fatal illnesses. Narrated from the perspective of a compassionate nurse, it is hoped that their lives are remembered and cherished. The author writes with a casual and direct creative writing style, sparing his readers medical terms and language, and this is what makes his story gripping and profound. This is one of those books that is difficult to put down, perhaps because all of us are on a similar journey and will have to face our mortality sooner or later, whether we like it or not. The Sun in a Tear, in the end, is thus a heartfelt tribute to one and all who have lived and died in this world.

Grant Leishman

Luca Favaro is a nurse and in The Sun in a Tear, Favaro attempts to bring to life the real patients he has met and cared for his entire life. Much of his nursing has revolved around patients that many would consider difficult or depressing to care for; such as the elderly, the terminally ill, and the mentally or physically challenged. Favaro brings a humanity and a love to these beautiful stories about beautiful people, many of whom will soon die. Some of these patients will give the author the help he needs emotionally and spiritually in what is often the darkest of times for the patient, rather than the other way around. Luca Favaro comes to realise that friendship and love are the two most important things in life and in the universe.

The author’s heartrending account of people’s resilience and triumph over the greatest of odds, at a time when they often had every reason to feel hard done by, is inspirational. I particularly enjoyed his stories of his time with the mentally challenged patients. As a person who has worked with these individuals in the past, I recognized and empathized with some of Luca Favaro’s emotions at the time. I also wondered if they were laughing at us, the so called “normal” ones, with all our worries and stresses, while they relaxed, happy in their own little world. This is an exceptionally moving book and one that will bring a tear to the eye of even the most cynical of readers. It was a joy to read and a reminder of what is truly important in life. The Sun in a Tear should be recommended reading for anyone who feels life has been a little bit unfair to them. Kudos to the author. This is a truly wonderful and inspirational story.