Author: Sally Hepworth
Published: February 2017, St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC Paperback, 336 pages
A new poignant and breathtaking novel from the author of The Things We Keep and The Secrets of Midwives.
With every book, Sally Hepworth becomes more and more known for her searing emotional portraits of families—and the things that test their bonds. In The Mother’s Promise, she delivers her most powerful novel yet: the story of a single mother who is dying, the troubled teenaged daughter who is battling her own demons, and the two women who come into their lives at the most critical moment.
Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a family of two all their lives. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and is given a grim prognosis.
Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the darkest moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the power of love and forgiveness.
My thoughts: Once again Sally Hepworth has managed to write a book that has all the feels and then some! This story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking - I had tears streaming down my face as I read the last few chapters - but it was all good. I absolutely loved this story - for the messages it conveyed, especially about love, trust and hope!
I think it's important to note here that I am not a mother, yet I could still identify with and relate to many of the characters in this book. I've been where Kate has been, going through the agony of miscarriage after miscarriage, round after round of failed IVF. I know her pain and felt that Sally Hepworth really portrayed this in an accurate and realistic way.
I loved that the story is told from the different characters. It really gives you that insider perspective into each character and allows us to have a better appreciation for what they are going through. I don't think it would have had the same effect if it wasn't "Zoe" telling her parts of the story. Her level of maturity comes through at times, but it's just right and I appreciated it all the same. Her quirkiness and adaptability shine through at times and she is perhaps the most endearing fifteen-year-old ever!
This book will definitely tug at your heartstrings. It touches upon a whole host of issues - cancer, domestic abuse, infertility and social anxiety to name just a few. It shows that family doesn't always have to created through blood, that a support system is all about who's there when you need it, who shows up.
This emotional read is one that I have a feeling will be staying with me for some time. Sally Hepworth is definitely an author not to be missed and I cannot wait to see what comes next from her!
****Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of this book!!!