Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" is a very unassuming and in fact bleak looking novel. Like the post-apocalyptic world it depicts, the actual hardcover book is all black with barely a title on it. The story is one of the few litmus tests of parenthood mindset. Reading it is probably a gut-wrenching experience for anyone, with it's relentless crushing of hope as a father tries to keep he and his son alive in a world without food, where nothing grows, and people turn on each other in the most brutal of ways.
However the experience of reading the book as a parent, and a father, makes it doubly difficult. My son is younger than the son in the book, but old enough to have the same conversations with me. The father tries so hard to explain to the son why the world the way it is, and the son is just unable to grasp it because he lacks the pre-apocalyptic frame of reference.
Day to day, as they trudge through the remains of the world, the boy's optimism and his father's paternal instincts are all that keeps his father going. You know from time to time, that the father could easily just lay down and die, and nothing but his love for his son is keeping him alive.
Parents everywhere, and probably most fathers of young children all cry at the end of the book and with good reason. Take a moment and check out the trailer, which has been published in such a way as to thwart proper online sharing, so I can't just embed it here.
(And yes, I know there are rumors that they ruined McCarthy's ending. I don't want to hear about it)