A heartfelt novel of a Christmas shadowed by loss and regret—and brightened by hope for renewal—from the author of Time Will Tell.
Six-year-old Jack is counting the days to Christmas. But his grandmother is just counting the days until it’s over. For Jill, the holiday comes with painful memories, and she wants only to escape the recent past and its tragedies.
She’s moved and started a new life running a food truck in Widmore Bay, a quaint seaside town, in order to flee her agonising history.
It’s only for little Jack’s sake that Jill tolerates the tree and decorations. She just wants to spend Christmas with the curtains drawn, reading a book and drinking coffee.
But this season, she may stumble onto a miracle that restores joy—and hope—in her heart . . .
Jill is running away from a devastating loss and is living with her grandson Jack Junior in the idyllic seaside town of Widmore Bay where she rents a cottage from her landlady Mary, who lives in the cottage next door. The friendship between these two women was incredibly heart-warming and I think we could all do with a Mary in our lives. Whilst at times Mary is almost like a mother figure to Jill, she is very much a good friend who not only listens but tells it as it is also, giving Jill some home truths she may not want to hear.
The story is set in the run up to Christmas of which the time of year is one that Jill would rather be able to miss than have to go through. She has a valid reason for this and if anything I think this story will be a heartfelt reminder of how important family and loved ones are. I had so much empathy for Jill and could fully understand why she is the way she is. Whilst there is a melancholy to this story, Mary being a wonderful down to earth character brings a lot of light to it and it had me raising a smile more than a few times.
A Gift Called Hope is a story with a lot of heart. It tackles some difficult subjects like addiction and grief of which the author writes it sensitively and well. At times it does make for a sombre read yet in the main I found it wonderfully endearing and uplifting. Having read a few books by the author now, she really is the queen when it comes to writing about family dynamics. She does it superbly with readers taking the characters to heart and thinking about them long after they’ve turned the last page. A beautifully written novel with real meaning behind it.
My thanks to the author for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.