This review may contain spoilers…
I discovered this book on Audible and had a free credit, so I added it. This is the first book I’ve read by Sally Hepworth. I normally like books like this as they sort of remind me of Lifetime movies. I knew it was going to be an emotional ride after reading the blurb.
The book starts out with Alice, a mom of a teenage daughter named Zoe. Zoe has social anxiety disorder and up until this moment it’s pretty much been her and her mom-No dad involved. There’s no other family besides Alice’s alcoholic brother, Paul, who hasn’t even been in their lives. Alice now learns that she has stage 3 ovarian cancer and is being told by her doctor that she’s going to need some help getting through this. At this point, I was hooked into the story. I couldn’t help but be pulled into it. As a mom and coming from a family full of cancer, this is a nightmare. It’s something I can’t imagine having to go through. Of course the first thought in your mind is, “Who is going to care for my child?” With Alice, her first thought was, “How is Zoe going to handle this?”
As denial kicks in, Alice moves forward with her surgery and the story moves on to the other characters including Kate, Alice’s nurse, and Sonya the hospital social worker. At first I didn’t like Sonya’s character and wasn’t happy with what she was doing with her own life and the controls she was putting on Zoe, but it gets better as the story moves on. With Alice’s condition including Zoe’s extreme anxiety issues, Kate and Sonya are all they have to help. It’s certain that somehow or in some way these characters are going to come together.
I was happy with the few twists the author put in, one that was completely unexpected but didn’t really amount to much with Zoe’s dad. It still added depth to the story.
I managed to make it through the majority of the story without bawling my eyes out. I’m pretty sure I was spared from about 75% of the emotion in the book because I listened to the audio rather than read the book. The narrator, Barrie Kreinik, was amazing and she did a wonderful job toggling between character voices.
Overall, I’m going to rate it 4****. I felt like the ending came fairly quickly and I was hoping the author would’ve elaborated on the characters live’s into the future, especially Zoe. This is certainly a heart-wrenching story about love, courage, and the strength it takes to overcome our worst fears.
“A page-turner. All the pieces masterfully come together at the end to create a beautiful novel of courage and love in the face of sorrow.” —Booklist (starred review)
All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter Zoe have been a family of two, living quietly in northern California. 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 needs to fight for her life.
Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, a 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, Sally Hepworth’s The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable audiobook about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters, and the new ways in which families are forged.
Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives. The Secrets of Midwives has been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s debut novel as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”. The Secrets of Midwives was also the highest selling debut Australian fiction of the year in 2015.
Sally is also the author of The Things We Keep, published in January 2016. The Things We Keep was a Library Journal Pick in the U.S. for January 2016, and an Indie Next Pick in the U.S. for February 2016. NYT bestselling author of The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion praised The Things We Keep calling it ‘A compelling read that touches on important themes, not least the different forms that love may take.”
Both novels were published worldwide in English and have been translated into several languages.
Sally is currently working on her next novel, to be published in early 2017.
Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two children. – Goodreads
You can find Sally on Goodreads by Clicking Here