Cover Image: The Mother's Promise

The Mother's Promise

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Member Reviews

When I saw this book offered on Net Galley, I quickly requested it. I had read "The Things We Keep" and had loved it. Yes, it was sad and emotional, but it was about real life, emotions, reality and that you don't always get what you want.

I found the same thing with this book. Alice and Zoe are a family, a mother and daughter that have seen each other through hard times and good times. Alice has spent many hours helping Zoe try to get over her severe social anxiety. So crippling that she has no friends, no outside life other than her and her mother. One day Alice is diagnosed with a life threatening disease and her fears for Zoe only add to her frustrations.

The journey that this mother and daughter take are in this book are highly emotional and true to the author's past writings. She does a beautiful job in the story and I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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You know, if Sally Hepworth continues to write like this, I could probably write a heartfelt review about my own experiences every single time. I told myself that I would actually write about the book in my review this time around.

I lied.
"Happiness was something you shared, chatted about, asked after. Suffering was something that you had to do behind closed doors, in silence, all alone."

It is quite possible that I fell in love with The Mother’s Promise even more than I did with The Things We Keep. Which is saying something, because that book was beautiful and really resonated with me personally. But this book just hit home for me in all the right places, and I don’t think any words I come up with will be able to do the story justice. Nevertheless, I will try.

The bond between a mother and daughter when the daughter is ill can be really special. When I found out about my anxiety and depression, my mother really stepped up and became my biggest source of comfort and support. Without her, I would not be where I am today. Possibly, I would not even be here today. She is such a trooper and my biggest help – she makes me comfort food, watches Disney with me, gives me hugs when I need them, and takes me everywhere I need to go. As far as neurotypical people can understand, she understands. And yes, I am constantly worried that something could happen to her. That’s why I found so much of our relationship in the story of Alice and Zoe. They were a team.

I loved Alice in that she was such an advocate for humour in troubling times. When she received bad news, she made jokes. When she wasn’t feeling well, she made jokes. “Humour is tragedy’s best friend,” they say, and that’s one belief I fully stand behind. You should take everything life throws at you with several grains of salt and sprinkle them on your Margaritas. If I didn’t have my sense of humour, I would have lost my sanity a long time ago.

Zoe, of course, was infinitely relatable. She has severe social anxiety disorder with a really weird interest in public speaking. It goes without saying that these two probably do not go so well together. But still, she goes out there and gives it her all. It goes wrong several times. Anxious people and even just introverts will recognise themselves in a huge part of Zoe’s journey.

So then what happens if you’re so dependent and reliant on your mother, and suddenly she gets cancer? It is honestly one of my biggest fears, and to see it written out like this touched several emotional chords for me. As some people know, I am generally a heartless monster and only cry when something happens to an animal. But I was teary-eyed throughout the whole book. It gave me a case of “THE FEELS” reminiscent of Me Before You.

And you know, I could probably fill my whole review with quotes from the book, because the writing felt effortless and there were a lot of really good, quotable parts. But maybe you'll just have to go and read the book for yourself and find the beauty within.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy
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The Mother's Promise is my second book by Sally Hepworth. I love her writing style! I think she deals with health issues in a very gracious way. She always leaves a message of hope to the readers. Her books are not only written to make us cry.

This one moved me a lot. In a few words, it's about a single mother, Alice, who has ovarian cancer. She has no one in the world but her teenage daughter, Zoe. 

They're both very lonely. Alice doesn't have any friends, no one to go to the chemo sessions with her, no one she trusts to watch her kid. Zoe only has one friend at school and suffers with social anxiety disorder. She's always invited to parties and stuff, but her fear doesn't allow her to go. She just wants to be alone all the time... That's until she realizes that being alone is also very scary. 

Together, mother and daughter face their fears and try not to show their weaknesses to each other. They also get some help along the way from the secondary characters: a social worker, a nurse and Zoe's boyfriend. 

I really enjoyed this read. I think the ending was very touching. It's a story that makes us reflect on our fears and how far we go when there's no other choice.
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This is such a heartfelt story about a diverse group of characters whose lives intersect because of cancer. I loved it!
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An Amazing, full of emotion book!
This story is about a single Mom who gets a diagnosis of stage 3 ovarian cancer. Not totally unexpected-  her own Mother had died from this dreaded disease.
Alice is raising her daughter Zoe (15)  who has a severe anxiety disorder. How will she ever cope with her Mom's illness and continue to function in the world? Will Zoe be able to help and adjust to this new change in her routine?
It has only ever been Alice and Zoe. There has never been a need to "let" anyone else in their lives, until now..

This fabulous book has so many facets; including social anxiety,abuse, isolation, death and dying, and most prominent is Love, Courage, Friends and Family
Sally Hepworth did an awesome job with these delicate subjects. Be aware! 
You will need tissues through out the chapters!! 
Thank you so much Netgalley for allowing me to read this wonderful book!
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Sally Hepworth really knows how to tug at the heartstrings with her realistic portraits of family. An insular family of 2, Alice and Zoe's world is rocked when Alice is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In addition to her cancer diagnosis,  Zoe has an anxiety disorder and her mother has always had her back. With no family to back her up, what will happen to Zoe if something were to happen to Alice? Fortunately for Alice, she finds two women who can be a support for her. A story of love and family that will stay with you.
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Publisher:   St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date:   February 21, 2017

With the title of “The Mother’s Promise”, and the book’s blurb stating that the mother was dying, I did surmise that I was about to read a sappy narrative.  I also knew that I wouldn’t care since I most likely was about to read a heartwarming story.  There are four heroines in this book.  There is a single mother who has been diagnosed with cancer.  Her teenage daughter suffers from a social anxiety disorder (as if high school isn’t hard enough).  As well as the mother’s nurse, and her social worker, both who are also battling their own personal issues.  After a rocky start (who wants strangers interfering in your life), these four females form a close bond.  Before they met each was isolated in their own way from the rest of the world.  Now they have a support system in one another.  The expression “you can choose your friends but not your family” applies to this group.  

Although this tale should have read somber since the plot squeezes in many troubling subjects including, mental illness, bullying, rape, abusive husbands and infertility, the author, Sally Hepworth, chooses to write her story focusing on female strength (think “Steel Magnolias”).   By attempting to help the soon-to-be orphaned teen each woman turns out to be helping one another.  So even though the book’s content is intense, this is an uplifting read.   However, because it is written in this manner I think that sometimes the story is lacking the appropriate seriousness making some scenes unrealistic and certainly predictable.  Still, I knew what I was getting into.  I chose to review this book as I was in the mood for a storyline that would make me laugh, cry and probably bore the heck out of my husband.  Women’s Contemporary Fiction is not usually what I seek out to read.  But, if you are a fan of that genre you will like this one.  

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I really love this book. I couldn't put the book down..
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Before you start reading "The Mother's Promise" take out the tissue box.  This is novel is so much more than a story about a dying single mother with a daughter who is struggling with a severe social anxiety disorder. This story tugs at your heartstrings. Prior to reading this novel I really did not understand the depth of social anxiety disorder. Hepworth did a fabulous job of bring light to this disorder and at the same time making one aware of the importance of having family and friends who you can depend on.  I will be thinking about this story for a long time.
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A well-written page turner. BUT. Far too manipulative for my taste. And transparent.

That being said, the book deals with very real issues. A dying, single mother. A teenage daughter with social anxiety. Family, love, fertility, marriage, secrets, abuse--there's a whole lot of relevant topics going on in this volume.

Positive for wanting to find out how it would end [though I pretty much nailed every scenario]. And mostly about empowering women. Negative for being overly manipulative [I resent being led though a novel in this regard]. Yes, I teared up--who wouldnt?!

Very much like her previous novel, The Things We Keep, is light reading with heavy content.
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The lives of four women – a single mom with cancer, her fifteen-year-old daughter, an oncology nurse, and a hospital social worker – intertwine in unexpected ways in this complex tale exploring family, friendships, marriage, and motherhood. 

Alice has stage three ovarian cancer, and she fears for her daughter, Zoe, who suffers from crippling social anxiety disorder that renders her almost helpless without Alice as her safety net. Zoe’s father has never been part of her life, and she has no relatives other than a totally unreliable alcoholic uncle. Kate and Sonja, Alice’s nurse and social worker, respectively, seek to help. But their own lives are beginning to fall apart for personal reasons, and as the story unfolds, each woman learns things about herself and others that will change her life and her relationships forever.

The story is narrated from the points of view of each woman, and we get to know them intimately. We experience Zoe’s paralyzing fear of everyday things, we share Alice’s losses, we ache with Kate and feel her longing, and we begin to understand Sonja’s inability to make a decision that may seem simple but never is. Their lives come together in believable, if unexpected, ways, and each character finds new strengths within herself to do what must be done. This well-written and knowledgeable book is fascinating, satisfying, and absorbing.
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Great story and easy to read. Look forward to reading more from this author
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The Mother's Promise delves into the lives of a single mother,Alice and her teenage daughter, Zoe.  As Alice's life is threatened with cancer she has to make decisions regarding custody for Zoe.  Up until now the two have made a go of it on their own with no friends or family to speak of as a backup so they have to rely on the help of Alice's oncology nurse, Kate and her social worker, Sonja.  Each of Sally Hepworth's characters are rich with humanity, flaws and challenges and I felt hopeful that each of these great women characters would survive their personal struggles.  Reading about social anxiety, abuse, rape, alcoholism, Crohn's Disease, infertility and cancer provided insight on the real challenges each present and I took the emotional journeys with Alice as she loses ground with her health, Zoe as she learns tactics to fight anxiety and comes into her own as a teenager, Kate as she feels alone surrounded by family as she battles infertility and Sonja as she gains courage to stand up to her husband.  The story is beautifully woven and I couldn't put it down as I read through my tears.
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