A Read with Jenna Bonus Selection
An “immersive…illuminating” (Booklist) and life-affirming novel following the residents of an idyllic Connecticut town over the course of a year, A Little Hope explores the intertwining lives of a dozen neighbors as they confront everyday desires and fears: a lost love, a stalled career, an illness, and a betrayal.
Freddie and Greg Tyler seem to have it all: a comfortable home, a beautiful young daughter, a bond that feels unbreakable. But when Greg is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, the sense of certainty they once knew evaporates. Throughout their town, friends and neighbors face the most difficult of life’s challenges and are figuring out how to survive thanks to love, grace, and hope.
“A quietly powerful portrait of small-town life…told with wisdom and tenderness” (Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes) A Little Hope is a deeply resonant debut that immerses the reader in a community and celebrates the importance of small moments of connection.
The residents of a small Connecticut city navigate grief and hope in Joella's tender debut, a series of vignettes marked by a sense of connection and community. In the opening, Freddie Taylor and her husband, Greg, both nearing 40, grapple with his cancer diagnosis. Freddie had planned to return to writing fiction once their daughter started school, but instead takes a part-time job as a seamstress while Greg, who has worked hard to make v-p at a financial services firm, wishes he were handling the illness better instead of turning prickly toward Freddie and his boss, Alex Lionel. Alex's own fear and guilt are detailed in a later chapter about a long-ago affair he had after the death of his son at 14. Now Alex is hoping his wife of 50 years, Kay, will meet his lovely grown daughter Iris from that tryst. There's also Darcy Crowley, the widow who started the dry-cleaning business where Freddie works and wishes to mend things with her son, who has become addicted to pills and alcohol after his dad's death and a breakup with his girlfriend. The prose can be simplistic, but Joella has a good handle on each of the many characters. Throughout, the overlapping story lines keep readers turning the pages.
Such a sweet and lovely story.