Single mom Rose is still grieving her mother’s death, still reeling from her divorce, and struggling hard to pay bills and hold onto the house her family loved so much. Her little girl Jeri is the one bright spot in her life. Rose is about to start her new job as a caretaker, a job that could help keep a roof over her and Jeri’s heads; but Rose is about to find something much better than just a new job.
A couple who couldn’t have a family meet a mother and daughter that are missing theirs. These four people come together and find more love and hope than one heirloom hope chest can contain.
The Hope Chest is a beautiful and sentimental story. Though not the type of book I normally read, when I began reading this story, I couldn’t help but think how much my mother would enjoy this. Mattie and Don’s relationship reminds me so much of my own parents’ relationship. To still be that in love and to have your best friend by your side after so many years is certainly something that most of us wish for. Each chapter represents a keepsake from Mattie’s hope chest, keepsakes she thought she’d never be able to pass down to a daughter or granddaughter. Until now. As each item is pulled from the hope chest, a story is told from Mattie’s childhood, as well as stories from Mattie and Don’s early years. The glimpses into the past are extremely sweet and poignant. While the story itself is a heartbreaking one, it is also a hopeful one. There’s a wonderful reminder in this book about how much we should cherish our older generation. There is so much that we can learn from them and so much that they still have to give. The book does touch on faith near the end, something that I found lovely but not something that would be off-putting to those who don’t share it. The Hope Chest also proves that you don’t have to share someone’s DNA to be their family.
I’ve never read Viola Shipman’s work before, and I was surprised to find out that Viola Shipman is a penname for Wade Rouse. He chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman who inspires him and his writing. That warmed my heart, and his love for his grandmother and her life stories shines through his words.
Though this is not my usual genre, I continued to think about how much my mother will love this book. And as I neared the end, a funny thing happened… I realized that I loved it, too.
“There is always hope where there is love.”
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.