TITLE: The Hope Chest
AUTHORS: Viola Shipman
PUBLISHING: Thomas Dunne Books
RELEASE DATE: March 21st 2017
GENRE(S): Fiction, Contemporary
STAR RATING: 4 ****
“MOVIE” RATING: PG
This book made me cry almost every chapter. Just all the tears were shed. I was completely drawn into this book by the wonderful stories that each item in Mattie’s hope chest revealed. Each of them were an added look into her life as she draws it to a close. Mattie’s life revolves around being stabilized by ALS and this novel is an excellent but subtle peek into this disease and how it effects those around them. It’s really amazing how novels like this one can bring an awareness to life within its pages. Because of this, it was a very emotional book and I had a hard time getting through it because I couldn’t read more than two or three chapters at a time.
The characters were wonderful and I admired their faith and hope that were so firm throughout this novel and the process of ALS, especially Mattie’s. I usually am not a big fan of reading stories within stories but I loved how they brought up different objects within Mattie’s hope chest, talked about their importance, told its story, and then presented the reader with a follow up of the object. The hope chest not only represents hope to these characters in the novel but also a way to connect the past to the future.
I don’t want to give a lot away or talk about this more because you just have to read this to find that out for yourself! I really loved the book and the ending was such a bitter sweet experience that I think it will be hard for me to get back into a book like this for awhile.
ABOUT Viola Shipman:
THE CHARM BRACELET is a tribute to my beloved grandmothers – as well as all our elders – whose stories and lessons helped shape us and make us the people we are.
It was through the charms on my grandmothers’ bracelets that I got to know my grandmothers not just as my grandmas but as incredible women who lived extraordinary lives filled beauty, hope and tragedy. They taught me that the simplest things in life – family, friends, faith, fun, love and a passion for life and what you do – are truly the grandest gifts.
I couldn’t be prouder of this novel, and truly hope that you are charmed by THE CHARM BRACELET.
VIOLA SHIPMAN is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered. To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second “heirloom novel,” which will be published in 2017.