Hope on the Inside

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

It wouldn’t be a Marie Bostwick book without a little bit of quilting in it, but this time the setting for the quilt making is quite different than the typical locale.  Hope Carpenter and her husband are recent empty nesters who have moved to Olympia, WA to be closer to their recently married daughter as well as to help cut down on living expenses since Hope’s husband has recently taken an early retirement package.  Hoping to increase her family’s income, Hope Carpenter gets a job teaching crafts to inmates at a local woman’s prison.  Teaching simple crafts to these women leads to a pilot quilting program which has its challenges.  Not only does Hope face uncertainty with her new job, but she is also struggling with issues going on at home with her husband and daughter.  
     Probably my favorite part of this book was figuring out how the book’s title related to the plot of this book.  Like other Marie Bostwick books that I’ve read, "Hope on the Inside" delves into real life issues and emotions that women of today face, but in a creative, heartfelt, and inspiring way.  In the note from the author at the end of the book, Bostwick proposes others take an interest in setting up quilting programs for prison inmates.  I truly hope that someone does take up her call for action because I truly feel it would make a difference in many lives.  Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.  All thoughts expressed in this review are my honest thoughts and opinions.
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EXCERPT: 'In case you hadn't noticed, while you were staying home and playing house, I was the one carrying the burden around here. I've been the provider for this family, not you!'

That was what Hope was angry about.

For over thirty-four years she'd thought of them as a team, different in their responsibilities and spheres if influence but equal in their contribution. this was the belief she'd based her entire life and marriage on. 

If Rick saw himself as an island and Hope as a millstone around his neck, then what was their marriage? What was her life?

What had they been playing at all these years?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: “Whatever comes your way, find the happiness in it.” Hope Carpenter received that advice from her mother decades ago. Now, with their four children grown, Hope and her husband, Rick, are suddenly facing an uncertain future, after a forced retirement strains both their savings and their marriage. Seeking inspiration and a financial boost, Hope gets a job teaching crafts to inmates at a local women’s prison.

At first, Hope feels foolish and irrelevant, struggling to relate to women whose choices seem so different from her own. But with time, and the encouragement of the prison chaplain, she begins to discover common ground with the inmates, in their worries about their children and families, their fear of having failed those who need them. Just like her, they want to make something of themselves, but believe it might be impossible.

Embarking on an ambitious quilting project, Hope and her students begin to bond. Together, piece by piece, they learn to defy expectations—their own and others’—and to see that it’s never too late to stitch together a life that, even in its imperfections, is both surprising and beautiful.

MY THOUGHTS: Marie Bostwick always writes such tender and heart-warming books, I am unable to pass one by, and yet all you who know me know that this is not my normal reading fare. This is a woman who has empathy pouring from within her, and this transfers itself to her writing. I can always find little bits of me, little experiences that I have shared with her characters, in her writing.

There is always a moral to her stories, but they are never 'preachy'. It does, however, give the reader food for thought. Are we too quick to judge? Would we behave any differently had we been in those same circumstances? It makes me feel very grateful for the life I have.

This book came about after the author saw an exhibition of quilts made by prison inmates. She describes them as 'honest, raw and emotionally evocative,' and she immediately knew that she wanted to write a book set in a correctional facility. After many false starts, she filed the idea in the 'too hard' basket. Some years later she read an article about the Coffee Creek Quilters, a volunteer run and funded quilting program operating inside the Coffee Creek Correctional facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. Meetings with the volunteers and research into their program resulted in this wonderful book.

THE AUTHOR: Marie Bostwick is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of uplifting historical and contemporary fiction. She lives in the state of Oregon and travels frequently to sign books, speak to reading groups, and meet her readers. 

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my webpage
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This is a wonderful story of a couple who have their life planned out and fate throws in a curve ball.  When her husband Rick gets forced retirement they find their finances strained and Hope takes a job at a woman's prison teaching arts and crafts.  She and the women get off to a rocky start but each week things get better as they start a quilting project.  As Rick and Hope face their life in a new city, with no jobs and trying to help their adult children face some difficulties they grow and discover unknown talents and fortitude.  Loved this story.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Marie Bostwick,'s latest novel had me at the cover.  This charming book is a heartwarming tale of how life doesnt always go as planned and life is full of second chances.    The quilting and baking aspects  were nice.  I am so glad netgalley offered me an arc of this story.  The opinions are my own
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Hope on the Inside is the latest novel by Marie Bostwick.  Hope Carpenter is teaching Family & Consumer Science (Home Ec) at the local high school and her husband, Rick is an engineer at a large firm that was recently acquired by an even larger company.  One day Rick announces that he has “retired” (more like forced out), but he has a plan.  Unfortunately, things do not work out they way Rick thought.  The family suffers one loss after another, and their finances become strained.  They sell their home and move to Olympia which puts them closer to their daughter, Mackenzie.  Hope looks for a position that will provide them with health benefits and a lucky meeting leads her to an opening teaching crafts to female inmates at the local women’s prison.  Hope gets off to a rocky start thanks to the numerous restrictions from Superintendent David Hernandez.  She makes friends with prison chaplain, Nancy Hendricks who gives her encouragement and friendship.  As Hope works with the ladies teaching them various crafts, she gets to know them.  She realizes that they each have hopes and dreams, but, for different reasons, their lives took a wrong turn.  These women feel like they have failed their families and have hurt their children.  They want to do better when they are released.  Hope comes up with a quilting project that will allow the ladies to give back to the community and create a gift for a family member.  As they stitch together the quilts, they begin to realize that it is never too late to begin anew.

Hope on the Inside is a special, heartwarming story.  I thought it contained good writing and the story progressed at a nice pace.  Hope likes to be active and to help people.  After their move to Olympia, she is at loose ends.  The job teaching crafts to female inmates seems like the perfect fit.  Unfortunately, the rules make it difficult to teach anything except kid level activities.  Hope comes up with a plan and works out a deal with the superintendent.  When she sees how the women feel bad about not being able to give gifts to their loved ones, she develops a quilting project.  She also wants to help the ladies regain confidence in themselves.  Hope on the Inside is a feel-good story about women helping women.  I would have liked more time devoted to the quilting classes themselves.  We also see Rick and Hope struggling with their marriage.  They have entered a new phase of their lives and their marriage is suffering.  Rick is at loose ends without his job and spends his days baking bread (and eating it).  He needs a new purpose, like Hope, before working out his relationship with Hope.  Their daughter, Mackenzie is having marital problems after her husband cheated.  She looks to her parents for guidance (could have done without this particular thread). My favorite phrase from Hope on the Inside is “there’s no such thing as too much yarn or too much chocolate.”  I find this to be very true. The Christian element is light, but inspiring.  Hope on the Inside is a charming story, but it is not my favorite by Marie Bostwick.  The author’s Cobbled Court Quilt series was delightful with a special cast of characters.  Hope on the Inside is a sweet and uplifting tale.
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“Whatever comes your way, find the happiness in it.”

Hope Carpenter and her husband, Rick, are at a crossroads. Hope has raised their four children and is going back to teaching. They are where they want to be. 

In the blink of an eye they are suddenly out of jobs and the financial and emotional stress is affecting them both. Selling their home and moving closer to their only daughter along with Rick's severance package have given them a bit of financial security but they both are feeling unsteady and afraid, which leads to quite a bit of tension.

Hope is determined to find a job and contribute financially and feel useful. She didn't think that job would be teaching female inmates in prison. After some initial trepidation, she finds herself loving the job and the young women.

Hope finds that teaching these young women to quilt will have a dramatic effect. They are learning to be normal. To think, plan, pour their hearts into something they can feel ownership over and pride in themselves. 

This one has all of the feels in it. I laughed, I cried, I was indignant!  Bostwick always gives us such beautiful stories. I always learn something I needed to learn.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ Kensington
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An uplifting and heart warming story about love, grief, redemption and second chances.  And quilting and baking! It's hard to "find the happiness" in some of the situations that life puts in our way, but it's possible to make changes that can make for a better life.
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I liked this book so much. Being about the same age and in the same life situation as the main characters; newly retired, career change in later working life, made this book all the more interesting to me.  So interested in how that changes marriages, relationships with friends, relationship with adult children. I could relate to their struggles and I loved that they worked through it all and came out better than ever!  Thank you to Net Galley, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to read an advance copy.
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Your name alone has to mean something. In the ancient world, names usually carried a meaning. They were more than something to scribble on a paper cup so somebody knows which latte belongs to you. Names denoted character, sometimes destiny. Perhaps Hope will be the one to bring hope to the inside. 

Hope and Rick Carpenter have it all. A lovely home in Seattle area, Rick a great job working at a engineering firm, Hope as a teacher, and their daughter and 3 sons, living life to the fullest. A family that has had ups and downs but when their lives are tested with a terrible loss, they lose sight of what they had only to gain it back stronger. 

With the loss of Rick's job, they now must downsize and move to a cheaper area in Washington State. If anyone has struggled with a job loss, you will connect immediately to Rick's pain and how he copes. We all cope in different ways but his was cooking and unfortunately, loosing connection to his wife Hope. Hope having to start over in a new city, gets a job as a arts and crafts teacher in a women's prison. Hope is a firm believer of our need to create and to have purpose. She connects with well with others and is truly the hero of this prose. 

A prose that is relational driven which is the best kind for me. How circumstances that seem hopeless change when we want the best for others. How when others take notice of our pain and see past them, bring hope to who we are. How our identity is tied in the things that don't matter only to learn fighting for others to find theirs teaches us that we all are human. 

Highly Recommend this one.

A Special Thank you to Kensington and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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Very moving story.

Hope Carpenter has raised been a stay at home mom raising her four children and just when she's found her dream job teaching FACS, Family And Consumer Science, formerly known as Home Ec. her husband Rick is forced into early retirement from his engineering job.   Eighteen months later they find themselves selling their home in Portland Oregon and moving into a condo apartment in Olympia, Washington near their only daughter McKenzie.   Rick's depression and upcoming financial changes have Hope looking for any job she can find.  To her surprise she is offered a job teaching crafts at the local women's prison!  There are a lot of very detailed rules to follow to protect staff and inmates and Hope chafes at them with her boss David Hernandez's already gloomy predictions on the outcome of craft classes for inmates.

Hope meets some interesting people like Nancy the chaplin, as well as the guards and especially inmates Mandy and DeeDee.     Hope sees first hand that life on the inside is not what she expected, if she even though about it.   She learns there is another world that the women in prison have grown up in and their circumstances that led them here aren't always their fault.   

Meanwhile Hope learns her own life lessons in dealing with Rick, her adult children and her sister, Hazel, her boss  David.

There are many moments when your heart strings are being pulled in sympathy, anger, frustration and joy.   A wide range of emotions in one novel.

This is Marie Bostwick at her best.
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This is a truly amazing book that gives the simple message of “ how tapping into ones creative side can enhance ones feeling of self worth”.  When life gives you lemons find a way to make lemonade.
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5 stars
Hope on The Inside
This is the best book I have read in a VERY long time. I was captivated from the very first page. I crawled inside the book and hated to leave its pages and the people within its pages. The characters are flawed, hurting and extremely relatable women. 
Hope On The Inside is a fiction book that shows the true life consequences of believing in people who do not believe in themselves. 
This is just an incredible story that is extremely well-written. I so very highly recommend it. I had not previously read a book by Marie Bostwick but I will be rectifying that immediately!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The views given are my own. #HopeOnTheInside #Kensington #NetGalley
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Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick

Rick and Hope have had a long successful love-filled marriage with give and take and honesty between them while raising four children to adulthood. Neither expected that they would be scrambling for jobs and living in a new place before they turned 60 and so close to the easy retirement they must have envisioned. Rick was definitely more troubled by the situation than Hope who immediately went out to find employment. Rick did try but was overqualified for anything he applied for. Hope does get a job working in a women’s prison teaching crafts and that gives her purpose as Rick tries to find himself and who he will be after his work as an engineer ends. The book includes the children and a bit about their lives and a big focus on one of the women in prison in Hope’s class. There are side stories aplenty. All in all a pleasant read but one that seemed rather predictable and perhaps not my favorite written by this author. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC – This is  my honest review. 

3-4 Stars
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First off, Marie, my family says thank-you for the Tollhouse cookies I was compelled to bake upon finishing this book. They aren’t Rosemary bread, but they are my go-to baking comfort. It was either bake or quilt and I can’t sew worth a lick. Your Home-Ec teacher must’ve liked you more than mine did me.

Okay, now onto the book review. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Bostwick’s for years and I really enjoyed her newest book. Even thought I can’t sew a lick, I always enjoy the quilting segments Marie inserts into her books. The same way I don’t like wine, but love books based at wineries. 

I really enjoyed the changing dynamics between Hope and Rick throughout the book—it was nice to see a long-married couple struggle through life’s changes but never give up on themselves or each other. I also like Hope’s struggles of being a mother and fulfilling her own well of passion. I think it’s a common occurrence to those entering the second (or third?) phase of our lives.

Hope may have been the main character, but hope was the main theme—finding hope when all seems hopeless and offering hope to those who feel as if they have none. I’m a big believer of hope in all forms and this book was a testament to a lot of them.

I received an ARC of this title. All opinions are my own.
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Hope finds herself in need of a job at a time when she least expected to-and her husband Rick is none too pleased about it or the job she's taken.  She's working in a women's prison, teaching crafts.  As Hope teaches the inmates how to make a quilt, their stories come out.  This is light reading (there are no horror stories here and you're only getting one side) but it's also encouraging.  Thanks to NEtgalley for the ARC.  It's all about redemption and finding yourself where you least expect to.
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Hope Carpenter's four children are grown and her husband recently accepted an early retirement package, Hope struggles to find meaning in her life. She recalls her mother telling her "Make up your mind to be happy, Hope. Whatever comes your way, find the happiness in it. That's the real trick of life." When downsized from her job as a Family and Consumer Science teacher and faced with dwindling resources, Hope and Rick decide to sell their house and move from Portland to Olympia to be closer to their daughter, McKenzie. When they buy a condo, life seems even more restrictive, due to the lack of outdoor activities and the loss of friends. When Hope accepts a job as a craft teacher at the local prison, Hope has to deal with the prison rules and Rick with the idea of his wife earning the money to support them. The idea of teaching women to quilt and to help the women develop a skill draws Hope closer to them. It's a win-win situation until one of the inmates is cut with what looks like a rotary cutter blade from the sewing room and Hope violates the prison rules.

Bostwick writes realistic stories about the complexity of relationships and the curves that life throws at each of us. It's how we respond that proves who we are and shows our resourcefulness. Hope is such a likable character and anyone who quilts can relate to her passion in teaching the inmates to sew. A thoroughly enjoyable book!
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Overall the story was captivating, intricate writing, surprises and heartwarming (I found myself smiling as I was reading) characters are what make this so special. The author did a great job with the story-line. I fell in love with the characters, and could feel the love  the family felt for each other. The author did a great job in telling the story in a subtle way. Although there is some religious aspects (a prison chaplain and Christmas services) to the book it was not at all preachy.

You know the feeling when you’re reading a book and are so in love with the characters you’re sad it’s ending? This was that book for me. I fell in love with Hope, Rick, Hazel and Mackenzie. I also loved the side characters, even some of the prisoners. The story was well written and the characters were well developed and believable; they were definitely the driving force of this story. 

Marie Bostwick has a different but realistic way of looking at life. The story is compassionate and sometimes heartbreaking and that brings each character to life and draws you in from the first page to the end. I couldn't stop reading, it pulled me in and made me feel as if I was experiencing what each character was feeling. It's a must read if you believe in community and family. An emotional story, an amazing book. Ms. Bostwick, you have a new fan.
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hope has 4 grown children . She has a little sister who works in real estate.Mckenzie,their daughter,prefers to talk to her father
Hope took time off to raise her kids then became a teacher after they left the house.Hope went back to work to afford tuition for liams film school Hopes husband took a forced early retirement.
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This book did not disappoint.  The story is about Hope and her family. Hope and her husband Rick have to sell their home because they were both downsized in their jobs. Hope finds a job in a women’s prison teaching arts and crafts and eventually teaching them how to make quilts.  I got very involved in the character’s lives.  
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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Marie Bostwick, bestselling author of uplifting historical and contemporary fiction, with a Macomber-esque flavour to her writing, is a new-to-me author. Her heartwarming novel, Hope on the Inside (a play on words), left me all warm and fuzzy when I hit the final page. Sweet, sincere, redemptive, inspiring… I could go on-and-on, but this title hit all those boxes.

The synopsis of the story is that our heroine is facing some unexpected challenges in a mid-life crises type of situation. After supporting her husband’s career and subsequently raising her kids, she’s the mom all the neighbourhood kid’s loved and can tackle any craft like she’s Martha Stewart. Having to find a new employment position, she stumbles upon a chance connection and winds up with a new position teaching a home-ec/craft class at the local women’s prison. Issues, of course, arise, but positivity and perseverance save the day and at the conclusion, everyone is living happily-ever-after.

This was not deep, thought-provoking fiction by any means. It was, however, charming and easy-to-read, dare I say even inspiring despite its triteness. It’s a story that’s been told a million times before, but it had its own unique spin and was quite the enjoyable page-turner.

I was provided with an advance copy of this title via NetGalley with thanks to the publisher and/or author. All opinions expressed are my own.
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