The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

The Hope Chest

The most recent book from Shipman, following close behind the best selling The Charm Bracelet is as brilliantly done as The Charm Bracelet was.

Shipman is so good at weaving themes into his writing. Hope, Love, Faith, Kindness  and Family. This particular story was beautiful. And sad. And hearbreaking. It was also full of hope and love and family and how important they are to us all.

We begin in the present with Don and Mattie Tice packing up all of their belongings from their home on the lake in Michigan and getting ready to move into town. Mattie has ALS and has advanced to the point where she is wheelchair dependant. As Don packs everything up, Mattie relives all of the wonderful memories she had in this house. With her parents, and then Don. It’s where her heart is. She never thought she would leave it. Hope Dunes is in her heart and soul.

As they settle into the house in town, Don is to the point where he knows he needs help with Mattie and here we meet Rose and her young daughter Jeri. Rose has her own problems and one is keeping her family home from being sold. She needs a job now.

When Don and Mattie meet Rose and Jeri they all know it’s a perfect match. And the book bounces between the past and the present, as they go through all the memories in Mattie’s hope chest.

All the special things that would have gone to Mattie and Don’s daughter if they had been blessed with children are taken out and stories told and new memories are made.

What a moving and lovely story this was. This is a book with a lot of feeling. And yes, there was some crying, but laughing too.

Thank you Netgalley and St.Martin’s Press for this early copy. The book is available on March 21, 2017.

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