My rating: 2 of 5 stars
(Let me preface this by saying this is NOT a book I would normally pick up/read, but someone recommended this book because he said the main character and I had a lot of parallels. I think they mainly were basing it on the fact both she and I worked for a paper. I knew going into it that this was probably going to be Hallmark Channel fodder, and well… as you’ll see below, it definitely delivered)
This book is a very feel good, sappy, fairly predictable tale about a girl who is gung-ho to get out into the world and take it over with her writing. Through her doggedness and the love of her adoptive mother, she makes her way through the ranks at the local paper. Her big break finally comes when she figures out the perfect front page story for the paper: a look at the “Christmas Jar” phenomenon where seemingly random people find themselves being gifted with people’s change jars on Christmas Eve.
Through self-discovery, love, muted religious undertones, and “unexpected” twists and turns, the girl (aptly named “Hope”) realizes what’s really important in life.
I read this immediately after reading The Reader, which I immediately started after reading Middlesex, two completely different and much more poetic books. Following up with this felt like I reading someone’s recently undergrad submission to their Creative Writing II class. It just seemed pithy and orchestrated.
That being said, I did appreciate the message–the idea that through simple actions we can help others around us. It was a fast read and did make me feel some sentimental pangs.
This would be a good one to buy for your grandmom or elderly aunt. They’ll love it–I promise.