Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

Thank you for visiting on this fine Thursday.  The Shipyard Girls at War by Nancy Revell is out today.  It is the second book in the series.  It takes place in England during World War II.  We get to see how the war affected the woman left at home and how they helped the war.

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman is a story of hope and love.  Madeline “Mattie” Tice has ALS and can no longer stay in Hope Dunnes—her beloved lake house.  Don, her husband, is moving them into a newly built home that can accommodate her wheelchair.  The movers are bringing down one more item as Mattie takes one last look around the house.  It turns out to be the hope chest given to her by her mother and father one Easter when she was a little girl.  Each item in the chest holds a special meaning to Mattie.  Don is wore out from caring for his wife full-time and is hiring a caregiver.  Rose Hoffs is applying for the position.  She desperately needs a full-time job.  She has been working part-time for There’s No Place Like Home.  Her boss feels that Rose is the perfect fit for the job with the Tice’s.  Rose has been raising her daughter, Jeri on her own since her husband left her.  Rose is forced to bring Jeri with her to the interview.  Mattie notices that Rose has a little girl in the car and insists she bring her in.  Rose and Jeri entering Mattie and Don’s life is just what they needed.  They were both feeling hopeless and lost (and so was Rose).  We get to find out about Mattie’s life through the items in her hope chest.  The items hold precious memories.  These items help bring Mattie, Don, Rose and Jeri together as a family and provide hope for the future.  Mattie may not be with them much longer, but she is leaving behind a legacy of memories and a future for three important people in her life.  Join them in Saugatuck, Michigan for a story of love, faith, courage, hopefulness along with a touch of sadness in The Hope Chest.

The Hope Chest is a heartwarming novel.  It is nicely written and easy to read.  I was drawn into the story and my attention was held throughout the book.  There were a couple of slow sections, but they were few.  I like how as each item is revealed in the hope chest, we are taken into the past.  We slowly see how Mattie’s life unfolded and how each item impacts the present.  I especially liked the Raggedy Ann doll that was in the chest.  It is an emotional novel that will make you smile, laugh, and cry.  I give The Hope Chest 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  The book shows you how important it is to enjoy and savor each moment of your life. We are also provided with a new type of family dynamic.  I like the relationship drawn between hope and home in the story.  There is a little repetition of information, but the book has a pleasing ending. The Christian element is just right and the author did a superb job at portraying a person with ALS.  ALS is a debilitating disease that affects the body horribly, but leaves the person with their mind intact.  The Hope Chest is my favorite book by Viola Shipman. 

Other novels by Viola Shipman are The Charm Bracelet and Christmas Angels.  I hope you have a marvelous Thursday.  I will be reviewing Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet tomorrow. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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