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Way He Lived (Hardcover) (Emily Wing Smith)
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A new edition of the debut novel of All Better Now author Emily Wing Smith.Sixteen-year-old Joel Espen died of thirst and heat exhaustion while on a hike in the Grand Canyon. He collapsed in a desperate attempt to get water for his friend. In the aftermath, everyone said was the strongest, bravest, and kindest young man anyone knew.But nobody really knew him. The novel tells the story of Joel’s life and death through the memories of those who grew up around Joel. As each character presents a piece of the boy they knew, it becomes clear that however much people loved and admired Joel, there was something about him they could never quite admit—could never bring themselves to see. The Joel they saw was a mask. Everyone loved the mask and the mask wasn’t a total lie. He was handsome and kind. He was quick to help others, to put his needs last. But this wasn’t all Joel was. The heartbreaking tragedy was not only Joel’s death, but that in his life the people who loved him most, couldn’t accept him for what he was. The Way He Lived is an unsparing story of a gay teen’s life and death and legacy in a small Latter-Day Saints community told with nuance and subtlety by an author who grew up in such a town and faced her own struggle to find acceptance.