About the Book
“I hate you, and I will make you hate me, too.” These are the opening lines to local teacher and author Carol B. Bost’s book Unfinished Love Story. In it, Carol tells the story of Salvador, a young boy living in an orphanage, who shows up at her classroom door angry and bitter at the world.
When Salvador first arrived in her classroom, Carol assumed it was a mistake – after all, Salvador didn’t belong in her class of struggling readers. His needs were more behavioral and outside the parameters of what she had been hired to do: working with students who needed a little extra help reading on grade level. Their small class had already established a family dynamic and were working well together. They were making steady progress towards their goals. The last thing they needed was a defiant child coming in and upending all of the hard work they had put into establishing strong routines and positive relationships. But what seemed a mistake, Carol soon came to accept as Divine Providence. God had a plan for Salvador and a role for Carol to play in his life. Her task became to show him real love and acceptance, no matter how hard he might fight against her, no matter how much a daily sacrifice it might be.
Carol knew her task was to show Salvador unconditional love. Unconditional love in the face of misplaced anger and defiance. Unconditional love in the face of distrust and hurt. Unconditional love in the face of aggression. Unconditional love even as Salvador broke and threw the very school supplies Carol purchased with her own meager salary back in her face. Carol knew only unconditional love would break down the barriers around Salvador’s heart and pierce the armor he stubbornly clung to.
As teachers everywhere know, it is sometimes the children that require the most effort that also work their way into teachers’ hearts and memories. Carol says, “I wrote Unfinished Love Story because I had a deep desire to share this unique and heartfelt relationship that my young student and I shared over 28 years ago. I wrote this, hoping to encourage others to persevere in challenging situations. I want readers to know that unconditional love wins in every situation. I also want those who are in challenging relationships to realize that real love is worth fighting for.”
Why an UNFINISHED Love Story?
Why call her new book an Unfinished Love Story? Part of Carol’s motivation to write the story of Salvador is a hope of finding him. Over 28 years after he unexpectedly exited her life, she is still thinking about and praying for him. Her book is both a testament to his struggle to accept love, and also a love letter to him. It was Carol’s past and current students, after hearing her story shared in class, who encouraged her to put the words down on paper. And though the story remains unfinished, the lessons learned live on in Carol’s words for all who read them. And in the meantime? Carol continues to invest in children’s lives and share her unconditional love in the classroom, knowing that there is no victory as sweet as hearing, as Salvador finally admitted, “I love you too, Mrs. Bost.”