My Review of “The Hope Chest” by Viola Shipman

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I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, and Thomas Dunne Books for the ARC of “The Hope Chest” by Viola Shipman for an honest review. The genre listed for this novel is women’s fiction, but I fell there is a “feel” of historical fiction as well.
Mattie and Don are an older couple who will be married fifty years on New Years Eve/Day. The author describes them as a loving co-dependent couple, who are hardworking and creative in artistic and gardening pursuits. Unfortunately Mattie has been fighting ALS for the past five years and as strong and independent as she would like to be, Don realizes that they need some help. They hire Rose, a single mother with a delightful daughter, who is struggling to financially hold on to her family home and support herself and daughter.
Mattie and Don are leaving their beloved house by the water, and as the movers are packing up, they discover Mattie’s beautiful Hope Chest that her father gave to her when she was a girl.
As Mattie, Don, Rose and Rose’s daughter go through each item, there is a story. The Hope Chest and the items are symbolic of life, past, present and future.
I find that the author’s descriptions of elegant objects, and the historical and personal stories are told in an intriguing and nostalgic manner.
The author writes about life, death, friends, family, love and hope, as well as final endings and new beginnings.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes women’s literature.

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