I can’t resist a book which involves letters so I was really keen to read this book. I’ve also read and really enjoyed Juliet Conlin’s previous books so I know I enjoy her writing. Juliet Conlin tells Hope’s story in such a clever way using not just letters, but emails, texts, Facebook messages and so on, any form of written communication in fact.
Janey and Hope become best friends when they meet at a music school. They are both very talented musicians and dream of going to study music at university together. When her parents are killed in a car crash on their way to a concert she’s playing in, Hope not only gives up her dream so she can look after her younger sister, but also gives up playing her music. The way the story was told became even more clever at that point as for some time, we don’t hear Hope’s voice at all. Yet despite that, we can tell exactly what has been going on in her life through the half of the communications with others and we can see what a difficult time she has been going through.
The continued friendship between Janey and Hope is so clear and a joy to read. It would have been so easy for Hope to become resentful that Janey was able to fulfill their common dream and make a life in music. Yet the bond between the two was so strong and they were always there for each other, always supportive. Another more unexpected friendship grows between Hope and elderly widower Arnold. She is encouraged to write to him by her sister, now a busy doctor. It was so lovely to see the connection between the two grow even though they had never met. Perhaps because they didn’t know each other, it was easier for them to be honest about things they hadn’t told even those closest to them.
The importance of communication is so clear throughout this book. Obviously the whole story is told in ways where people are communicating but we also see how sometimes relationships become difficult when honest communication breaks down.
This is a heart-warming book with the relationship between Hope and Arnold in particular being so wonderful to read about. They truly did change each others lives – and those of a few others – in ways they could never have expected when they started to write to each other. Love, Hope is a cleverly told and uplifting story of love, loss, second chances and yes, a story of hope.
Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invitation to take part in the blogtour and for arranging a review copy of the book. Love, Hope is published by Hodder and available now in paperback and ebook formats. Please support your usual book retailer if you can. Alternatively, you can order a copy from various retailers on the Hodder website here: Love, Hope
From the back of the book
An unexpected letter. An unlikely friendship. A chance to start again.
Ever since she first picked up a violin, Hope Sullivan dreamed of going to music college, joining an orchestra and travelling the world with her best friend Janey. But when her parents were killed in a car accident on the way to one of her recitals, she gave it all up to look after her younger sister, Autumn. Ten years later, Janey is living their dream on her own, Autumn is flourishing as a doctor and Hope’s life is smaller and less musical than ever.
Arnold Quince had the happiest of lives – until he lost his beloved wife Marion. Once the life and soul of the village, he withdrew into his grief and pushed all his friends away. Now, five years on, he is sick, lonely and just counting down the years until he can be with Marion again.
When Hope and Arnold are pushed into writing to one another, neither has any idea how much their life is about to change.
About the Author
Juliet Conlin was born in London and grew up in England and Germany. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Durham. She works as a writer and translator and lives with her husband and four children in Berlin. She writes in both English and German. Her novels include ‘The Fractured Man’ (Cargo, 2013), ‘The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days’ (Black & White Publishing, 2017), ‘The Lives Before Us’ (Black & White, 2019), and ‘Sisters of Berlin (Black & White, 2020). Subscribe to Juliet’s newsletter, www.julietconlin.com.