Title: The Hope Chest
Author: Viola Shipman
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Description from Goodreads: “From the beloved author of Indie Next Pick The Charm Bracelet, a story about an heirloom hope chest and the connection it inspires among three people in need of hope.
The discovery of one woman’s heirloom hope chest unveils precious memories and helps three people who have each lost a part of themselves find joy once again.
Ever since she was diagnosed with ALS, fiercely independent Mattie doesn’t feel like herself. She can’t navigate her beloved home, she can’t go for a boat ride, and she can barely even feed herself. Her devoted husband, Don, doesn’t want to imagine life without his wife of nearly fifty years, but Mattie isn’t likely to make it past their anniversary.
But when Rose, Mattie’s new caretaker, and her young daughter, Jeri, enter the couple’s life, happiness and the possibility for new memories return. Together they form a family, and Mattie is finally able to pass on her memories from the hope chest she received from her mother.
With each item—including a favorite doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges.
A beautiful story about the unconditional love and support of family, The Hope Chest will remind you that hope can be found where and when you least expect it.”
Review: This book is heartbreaking and yet heartwarming. The story of how these wonderful people found solace in each other is so inspiring. I loved each and every one of these characters as though they were my own family, and felt every pain and triumph as though it were my own.
I found myself crying many times throughout this book, but it was such a wonderful story that I couldn’t make myself put it away for a happier one, like I do at times. This book was worth each and every tear that I shed, and I will probably read this book many times, and undoubtedly, cry each and every time.
The writing is so vivid; I could truly see each of the items from the Hope Chest, as well as each memory accompanying them. I could see the red leaf in the scrap book, the blueberry stain on the apron, the black smudge on the vase. For a time, these people, and these objects, were completely real to me. I am inspired to make a hope chest for my children now. Memories are truly a wonderful gift, and at the end of our lives, that’s all we have left; that is one gift this book gave me, and I will forever be thankful for that
. Recommendation: I would recommend this book to anyone. Seriously, if you want a wonderful story, pick up a box of tissues, and read this book.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*