Book Review of The Mason List by S.D. Hendrickson

2015 Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist:
Best Debut Author for The Mason List

“An epic love. An epic hate. An epic story that would last a lifetime.”

Today, 8:15 p.m.
I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness. . .

When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life.

Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him.

Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined.

Jess was my everything as a kid until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love. . . I destroyed it.

“I was his and he was mine… I needed him. I needed him the way I needed air; a little bit every day just to survive in this dark world.”

S.D. HenDrickson

This books relates the love story of Alex and Jess. They both met when they were children, just after Alex’s mother past away from Cancer. Jess’s family takes Alex and her father in their ranch. They were both homeless and living in their car. Here, her father could have a job and live in a cottage within the property. This meant that Alex and Jess were always together.

Jess is honest with himself when he develops feelings for Alex. Nothing makes him happier than spending time with her. However, it is not as easy for her to admit she loves him romantically. Obviously, he was her partner in crime in every sense. On the other hand, she had been harboring a long filled resentment towards her father and the Masons, Jess’s family.

She felt embarrassed that her dad could not provide for them when he should’ve. She resented the pity the Masons took on them. Therefore, she started making a list along her life, where she noted everything the Masons did for them, so she could pay them back.

Alex did not plan on falling head over heels in love with Jess. But what’s not to love about this boy? He’s completely loyal and forgiving. More than that, he’s sincere enough to call Alex on her bullshit. It took a lot of patience from his part to wait for her to make up her mind.

Together they realize they can’t live without each other. They are what they know best. Eventually, Alex realizes the Masons did what they did, out of the goodness of their hearts. Sometimes, you don’t have to pay back the blessings life throws at you, just being grateful is enough. Falling in love helps her realize that her father was just swimming in grief after the death of her mother and lost track of everything.

Alex Turner, reminded me a little of myself. Proud at times, stubborn to say the least, but good hearted. Sometimes I wanted to hit her on the head with a hammer for being stupid. I guess some people would like to do the same to me at times!

I loved this novel so much since it shows the power of resentment and how important forgiveness is.