Carolyn Brown returns to the blog with a story of family connections and support with
The Hope Chest
Nessa, Flynn and April are cousins that spent time during childhood summers together at their grandmother’s house. But as they all got older, they moved apart, and the visits ended. Now their grandmother has died and left the three her house – along with a Hope Chest that contains their ‘legacy’. There’s only one catch: the women must finish a quilt that was started BEFORE they get to open the chest.
At first, the three are ‘mostly’ happy to see one another but time and unfamiliarity with one another’s lives, along with ‘expectations and beliefs’ of how those lives are progressing seem to hamper their joy. As they spend time together and come to discover themselves in a new light – both individually and as a collective, the task set forth by their grandmother becomes almost more important than opening the chest.
Told with Brown’s (as I’ve come to find) stellar characterization – this story is driven by the women themselves: we learn of each’s challenges, changes, secrets and hopes, and see how they manage to share their burdens while uplifting one another onto more growth. While shelved in the romance section, the story truly is women’s relationship fiction – as we are working through family connections, issues, questions, dreams lost and found and some history in each woman’s life that wasn’t quite what they bargained for. There is romance, albeit a bit secondary (for me) to the story of growth and connection that is reestablished with the cousins, all orchestrated by a grandmother who loved them all dearly and equally, and wanted them to rediscover the connections that, in the end, would matter the most.
Title: The Hope Chest
Author: Carolyn Brown
Genre: Contemporary Sweet Romance -Adult, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Second Chance
Published by: Montlake Romance
Published on: 22 June, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 24 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible
An inheritance has reunited three estranged cousins. Their grandmother Lucy left Nessa, Flynn, and April her home nestled in the woods near Blossom, Texas, as well as a hope chest to be unlocked after they complete a special task. Together, they must hand-stitch a cherished quilt Lucy left unfinished. It meant everything to her. And now, to three people struggling with their own patchwork pasts…
To Nessa, the house has always been an escape from her strict parents—a home away from home. Flynn has followed a profligate path into adulthood, never guessing it would lead him here. And the town of Blossom only stirs up a lifetime of disappointments for April. Lost and with nowhere to go, her last chance is helping fulfill Nanny Lucy’s final wish.
Thread by healing thread, Nessa, Flynn, and April bond over the quilt and all it represents. As they discover the family they’ve been looking for in one another, they share more than memories. They share the hope of new beginnings.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.