Cover Image: The Mother's Promise

The Mother's Promise

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Member Reviews

I got this ARC long, long time ago from NetGalley but unfortunately that time I didn't make it on time to read and review it. And I really want to kick myself for that.

Alice a single mother in her 40s lives with her only daughter, Zoe. There are always the two of them. Zoe is a teenager with social anxiety disorder. Alice always be the protector of Zoe, until Alice is diagnosed with cancer. What will happen to them?

This is the second book by this author I read.
The writing style is the same as the last book of her I read. 
Third person, multiple POVs: Alice, Kate the nurse, Zoe — Alice's daughter and Sonja the hospital social worker.

This kind of makes me confused actually.
Too many POVs that sometimes I can't figure out who this "she" "he" "her" "his" actually is. You know, because it was told in third person. 
Each chapter feels like a new beginning of different story. Because almost each chapter told in different POV and every POV has different story. This is pretty frustrating for me tbh.
There are like 4 different stories in one book.

Personally I'm not a very patient person. And to be honest I don't know how to deal with people with anxiety disorder. Reading Zoe's story really took my patience. And it's so frustrating that she always overthinks everything. Seriously, get a grip 🙄

Although I know something like this really happens in reality. But still... I just...

I tried really, really hard to finish and enjoy this. Because I'd feel so guilty if I DNFed it.
The story is so slow-paced with so many events and problems that was built, but then all of them solved in such a short time that it seems like the author really in hurry to finish the story.

So for me it's more like an 'obligation' to finish this book than to enjoy it in my leisure time.

Although surely there are many moral values that we could take from this book—I shed tears in some parts, the story is just too complicated and frustrating. And not to mention, too long for my taste.

I'm so sorry that I couldn't finish it on time due to so many things going on in real life back then.
But thank you so much for providing me this ARC.
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This novel was extremely difficult for me to get through. Sally Hepworth is a great writer and I love her work.  However, this book touched on a few sore topics for me.  This book includes descriptions of sexual and physical violence, that I found very difficult to read.  In fact, I had to take a break and walk away because of the content.

Another area that really got to me is the story of Alice's struggle with her diagnosis and her fear of leaving her daughter alone.  I am a single mother and I personally have a very small social circle.  Having something as serious as a cancer scare is my greatest nightmare. I'm worried about what will happen to my son. I'm scared to leave him alone in this world.

Technically speaking, there's nothing wrong with this novel. I was able to determine one of the twists early on, but not the other.  However, I spent so much time crying as I continued to delve into the book.  This was a very difficult book for me to get through.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this free readers edition. In exchange I am providing an honest review.

Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. Wanting to be a mother is not for the faint of heart. Hepworth has crafted a story about the different ways we come into motherhood and the different sacrifices we have to make as mothers. 

Alice Stanhope and her daughter Zoe are a tight-knit unit. Not much can come between them. Zoe replies on Alice for stability as she deals with Social Anxiety Disorder which is no fun when you are in High School. Alice has nobody to rely on to help with Zoe so nothing can ever happen. But then something happens. Alice's maternal family history appears in her own body and she's looking at a serious, advanced cancer diagnosis. Suddenly things feel very unsettled. What would happen to Zoe if she doesn't make it? Well, it's not an option - she'll just have to be in that rare 20% the Doctor mentioned that beats this cancer. 

Because Alice and Zoe have literally nobody to come alongside of them, they are assigned a social worker and a Nurse dives in to help as well. Alice resents this intrusion and Zoe is scared of it but it can't be helped. As time goes on, Kate (the Nurse) weaves herself into Zoe's life and it feels threatening to Alice. Sonja (the social worker) is on the peripheral until she isn't and when she enters the story fully it is in a shocking and earth-shattering way. None of them will ever be the same again. 

I liked this story, and its characters. Honestly I wasn't sure I would but I took to it really quickly. I have no reason why I didn't think I would like it so I'm glad I was wrong. I wasn't real fond of the character Sonja but once she entered into the story fully I saw why Hepworth included her. I loved Zoe and the way Hepworth fleshed her out as a high school student who is inflicted with social anxiety, I also loved how she brought someone into Zoe's life who could share in her struggle because of his own. The isolation Alice and Zoe had created around themselves really makes you think about your own situations and relationships - it takes a small village rings more true than ever when hard things hit.
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I enjoyed this book, especially getting to know the characters and the complexities of their lives. More than once, I nodded my head and thought "Me too!". As the story progressed, I felt that a few of the plot points were too convenient, but I forgave that for the emotional honesty with which the author was able to portray the lives of the characters. A great family/relationship drama with a host of ups and downs.
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This beautifully written book introduced me to four ordinary women. Moving and generally well written story that really touched me! I cried the ugly cry. I am never disappointed by S. Hepworth! I know I can count on her books to draw me in and keep me there until the end
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3.5 stars

Thank you to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This heartwarming and emotional book tells the story of Alice and Zoe, a mother and daughter who have relied on each other throughout their lives. Zoe suffers from a case of extreme social anxiety and Alice has always been her protector. But now Alice has been a diagnosed with an advanced case of cancer and the two are forced to rely on two women who have recently entered their lives due to this illness and both have serious concerns about bringing these two strangers in their world. However as the situation starts to take a more serious turn, Alice and Zoe slowly learn that it's not as bad as they thought to depend on the kindness of strangers. Another compelling read from Sally Hepworth.
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My goodness me, what a lot of issues contained in one story! I loved the book but it was heartbreaking and I found the rapist father to be living in the same town and counselling  Zoe a bit too far fetched. This is the first sally Hepworth book I’ve read, but I will definitely be reading more.
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This novel toggles between four different women - a single mother with cancer, her teenage daughter with social anxiety disorder, her nurse who is struggling with fertility issues, and her hospital-assigned social worker with an abusive husband. As that summary suggests, it's a sad book though with some hope at the end. There were some unrealistic elements, including a plot point straight out of "Big Little Lies." But the characters were very sympathetic and it definitely wrung some tears out of me. I'd give this a 3.75 so I'm rounding up to 4 stars.
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The Mother's Promise by Sally Hepworth was, for the most part, an enjoyable read. The story started out a bit slow, but watching Zoe grow made the journey bearable. Once I got through the slow parts, I had the feeling I had made a few new friends, and found myself laughing, crying and cheering them on in their various endeavors. The subjects explored in this book can get a bit weighty at times, but Ms Hepworth approaches them with grace and even humor. I highly recommend this book for those who may know someone suffering from anxiety.
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I'm really sorry, I just couldn't get in to this one. Hopefully Sallys next novel will grab me s i loved her previous. Thank you for the chance to read anyway
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My mom was a single mother but she had so much family support to help with my sister and I. I can't imagine not having my family around when growing up. This book is much different than my usual reads but I really enjoyed it. Sally Hepworth wrote an easy to read novel, filled with characters who you couldn't help but love: Zoe; Kate; and even Harry. Just like in our everyday lives, people come into our lives and bless us, without us asking for it or expecting it. The characters stole a piece of my heart while reading the novel.
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I've always enjoyed Sally Hepworth books and The Mothers Promise was no exception, The subject matter in this book was a difficult one for me due to personal circumstances and I truly felt for all of the woman, each battling their own demons. While I felt that the story was going in the direction that I had expected that didn't take away from enjoying following each of their individual stories develop. There were many tears shed, that's for sure.
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From the author of The Things We Keep, this new book will be great for her fans and for new readers.
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A well written and emotive book centred around a mother and daughter and their struggles, especially dealing with a medical diagnosis.  The characters were so well written yiu want to meet them and you are rooting for a happy ever after! Would recommend highly
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This book touched me.  I cried and it made me think...the characters were well developed, which is always important to me.  It's true to life, because we are all on a tough journey, and we just have to look at other's and find that some have it worse than we do.  Thank you to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for an E-ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
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The Mother’s Promise is a heartbreaking tale that looks at what happens when you’re alone, and all the different ways that you can be alone. It’s a touching tale of love in all its forms, of facing fears and growth through adversity.

Alice and Zoe are a team of two with no family support and they’re fine with that; they’ve never needed anyone else. It isn’t until Alice gets sick and she’s advised to plan for all eventualities that it strikes her how alone they really are.  I am surrounded by family, and friends who are the family I chose, yet still I haven’t been able to put a plan in place for every eventuality. As a parent you want to think you will always be there for your children, you will never need alternate guardians but it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place just in case. What happens when you aren’t surrounded by family and friends? How do you plan for an eventuality you can’t face when there aren’t any suitable guardians in your life?

To make the situation more difficult Zoe isn’t without her own troubles, which makes it imperative to find the right person for the hopefully hypothetical job. Alice is torn between determination that this isn’t going to be necessary, a desire to protect her child and the need to get it right.

The Mother’s Promise is Alice and Zoe’s story but we meet new people along the way that become integral to the story, and we learn their stories alongside Alice and Zoe’s.

In alternating chapters we delve into the lives of Kate and Sonja as well as Alice and Zoe. Kate is one of the nurses treating Alice and Sonja is the social worker assigned to her case. The women get off on the wrong foot but sometimes you find allies in the unlikeliest of corners.

Hepworth writes with heart and with humour, with compassion and with insight. Her story delves into the lives of very different women and sees them face their fears and learn to embrace futures they hadn’t dared consider.

Loneliness and being alone can be very different things. Alice was never lonely, she had everything she needed between Zoe and her business but when it came to thinking about guardianship arrangements she realised just how alone she was. How do you make guardianship arrangements when you have no family or friendship circle support, how do you navigate treatment and appointments without support?

Hepworth explores the aloneness of her characters in different situations, and none of them really felt lonely until we started delving deep into their lives. Characters who were happily married, successful and surrounded by people yet still ultimately alone. Hepworth brings them into a situation where they connect with other people and it helps to facilitate a change and forge bonds that are not easily broken.

The Mother’s Promise was a difficult book to read for me as a mother, just the idea of having to face leaving my children was enough to break my heart. I know that if something happened to me I am surrounded by loving people who would take care of my children but to think what would happen if that wasn’t the case. To put myself in Alice’s shoes and think about leaving my children with no-one I could trust to protect them the way I would, to consider the thought of them ending up in the foster system when they have troubles of their own. This was certainly a book that made me think, about how lucky I am as well as reminding me of the importance of having plans in place.

Hepworth’s writing is insightful and empathetic with colourful and diverse characters that you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with… for the most part. The story is beautifully written and the characters are vividly drawn. The love within the pages is palpable and the blossoming it brings about in Zoe is inspiring to watch.

The Mother’s Promise is well worth the read for everyone and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

You can follow Sally Hepworth on Facebook, her Website and Twitter.

The Mother’s Promise is book #6 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.

The Mother’s Promise is published by Pan Macmillan and is available now through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading The Mother’s Promise so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Alice Standhope and her daughter, Zoe, have always been a team of two.  Zoe’s social anxiety disorder means that she doesn’t feel comfortable with many people other than her mom, and Alice has done everything she can to support her daughter.  However, when Alice is diagnosed with cancer, they will need to reach out to other people.  Kate, Alice’s nurse, and Sonja, the social worker assigned to Alice, step in to provide the support Alice is loath to admit they need.

There were a lot of serious topics covered in this book.  I really enjoyed the parts with Alice, Zoe, and Kate; the parts with Sonja were just OK for me.  Overall, the book was well-written and a compelling read.
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I loved this book. I thought the characters were great, I felt like I knew them as friends of mine. My heart went out to them and they all had great stories. From the first page I couldn't put this down and finished it in a few days on my vacation. I would recommend this as a beach read ... it's a tad dark but full of love a the same time.
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Posted review on goodreads and Amazon on 5/5/2017. On my blog early August. For some reason the copy and paste option is not working for this page.
Will try to do so later. Many thanks for this book.
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What were the best women's fiction novels of February?

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
 -Maya Angelou

Women’s fiction is about the journey but it’s also about the relationships –with family, friends, children, and that special partner. We're told all our lives to make a difference in someone else's life—by acts of kindness or the hand of friendship and in some cases the embrace of love. These wonderful stories illustration the veracity of that. You can't helped but be charmed, entertained, and touched as these strong women face tough and difficult challenges.

The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth
The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

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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 most dismal moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.

Strengths: Engaging characters; captivating plot; emotionally moving
Measure of Love:  Dash
Mood: Poignant
Why You Should Read this: This is a story that just pulls you in. Not only are the characters likeable and appealing, their journey is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Wonderful mixture of poignant and uplifting moments.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

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A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

Strengths: Multi-faceted characters; Imaginative concept; Uplifting ending
Measure of Love:  Dash
Mood: Poignant
Why You Should Read this: Such an interesting quirky premise with wonderful storytelling.  Although the drama is low-keyed, the character growth is very rewarding, as is the feel-good ending.

The Young Wife’s Club by Julie Pennell

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In Toulouse, Louisiana finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might be the man you thought he was. But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side in this charming debut novel perfect for fans of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Desperate Housewives. 

 Laura Landry’s quarterback husband was her ticket out of Toulouse. But when a devastating football injury sidelines him, they’re forced to move back to the small town she was so desperate to leave. As Brian starts drinking instead of rehabbing his knee, Laura must reevaluate what her future looks like…and if it includes her husband.

 For years, Madison Blanchette has been waiting for bad-boy musician Cash Romero to commit to her. When wealthy George Dubois asks her out, she figures she may as well wait in style. Life with George means weekend trips to New Orleans, gourmet meals, and expensive gifts. At first she loves how George’s affection sparks Cash’s jealousy, but when George proposes to Madison, she finds herself torn between two men…

All Claire Thibodeaux wants is to be the perfect wife and mother. If she can do everything right she won’t end up like her mom, a divorced, single parent trying to make ends meet. But when Claire’s husband Gavin, a well-respected local pastor, starts spending late nights at work and less time in their bed, she can’t help but fear that history is about to repeat itself…

Gabrielle Vaughn never thought she’d end up with someone like her fiancé. The son of a prominent congressman, Tony Ford is completely out of her league—which is why she lied to him about everything from having a college degree to the dark truth about her family. She knows she has to come clean, but how do you tell the love of your life that your entire relationship is a lie?

 As these young wives come together to help each other through life, love, and heartbreak, they discover that there are no easy answers when it comes to matters of the heart.

Strengths:  Complex marital issues; engaging younger characters; uplifting ending
Measure of Love:  Tablespoon  
Mood: Mixture of lightheartedness and poignancy 
Why You Should Read this: A very appealing story filled with charm, youthful folly and a dose of realism as four young women navigate the complexities of love and marriage.

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

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Zoe Saldivar is more than just single—she's ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it's up to her to stop living in isolation. 

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated—her first new friend is Jen's widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen's brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe's own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam's flustered, Jen's annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn't sound so bad, after all. 

Strengths: Multi-generational characters, diverse conflicts, Uplifting ending
Measure of Love:  Tablespoon
Mood: Mixture of lightheartedness and poignancy 
Why You Should Read this: There are wonderful resolutions to a host of romantic conflicts to satisfy both the reader looking for romance and the reader looking for more complex interpersonal relationships.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan 

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As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to close the choir and instead “carry on singing,” resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. We come to know the home-front struggles of five unforgettable choir members: a timid widow devastated when her only son goes to fight; the older daughter of a local scion drawn to a mysterious artist; her younger sister pining over an impossible crush; a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia hiding a family secret; and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past.
 An enchanting ensemble story that shuttles from village intrigue to romance to the heartbreaking matters of life and death, Jennifer Ryan’s debut novel thrillingly illuminates the true strength of the women on the home front in a village of indomitable spirit.

Strengths:  Wonderful backdrop and setting; multi-faceted characters; uplifting ending
Measure of Love: Teaspoon  
Mood: Mixture of lightheartedness and poignancy
Why You Should Read this:  Told in diary excerpts from a host a characters this a wonderful glimpse of village life during the World War II. While their men are off battling evil in the world, these women have their own battles against corruption, deceit and heartbreak as they keep the home fires going.
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