With every book, Sally Hepworth becomes more and more known for her searing emotional portraits of families—and the things that test their bonds. In The Mother’s Promise, she delivers her most powerful novel yet: the story of a single mother who is dying, the troubled teenaged daughter who is battling her own demons, and the two women who come into their lives at the most critical moment.
Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a family of two all their lives. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and is given a grim prognosis.
Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family.
Imbued with heart and humor in even the darkest moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the power of love and forgiveness.
ebook, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 21st 2017
by St. Martin's Press
It's not often that I can finish a book within 24 hours of starting but with The Mother's Promise I couldn't put it down. Though it isn't a long book it was the story that drew me right in and I just could not stop reading until I finished.
This is the third book by Sally Hepworth , I enjoyed her first two books and jumped at the chance to request the arc from Netgalley when I saw it was available.(The Secrets of Midwives and The Things We Keep click on titles for links to my review). I will admit that I don't always read the synopsis for certain authors, which happened here. To be honest I might even have shied away from this book if I had known what it was about, cancer is such a scary thing and with my son finishing his last chemo treatment six months ago everything is still fresh in my mind. So needless to say I found this to be a very emotional story, one that grabbed me and would not let me go.
One of the scariest things of being a parent is when something happens to your children and you have no control over it. But what if the roles were reversed and something happened to the parent, add no family or friends for support creates a bad situation. Such is the case with Alice Stanhope when she is diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. Her daughter Zoe has serious anxiety issues and only 15 years old. Nurse Kate has her own issues as well as social worker Sonja.
With chapters alternating between characters it was easy to get absorbed in their lives, to care for them and feel their fears. Anxiety disorder it's something that I have never really heard of before and I think the author did a great job of portraying it and how it affects people. This book was a perfect example of being sensitive to other people because you don't know what is going on in their lives just like they don't know what is going on in yours.
The Mothers Promise is a story of love, devotion and heartbreak and one that will stay with me for a while.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy (via netgalley).