The Mother’s Promise is a powerful and breathtaking women’s fiction novel that paints the relationship between a single mom and her daughter. First I read that Sally posted on Goodreads a letter to the reader:
A couple of years ago, my brother and his wife were headed away on a vacation without their two-year old daughter. A few days before they left, at a family dinner, my brother asked me if I would be my niece’s guardian if anything should happen to them while they were gone. A few years earlier, I’d asked same of my brother and his wife for my own children, so the request was no surprise to me. I was surprised, however, when my other brother suddenly piped up.
“What did you ask Sally for? I’d take (our niece)!” he exclaimed.
My Mum and Dad added, “What about us? We’d have her.”
What followed was a good-natured squabble over who would be the best choice of parent for a child whose parents were (and still are) very much alive. What I heard was a network of love and support, and an assurance that my niece would always be loved and taken care of. I know my own children have the same assurance. It’s something I’ve always taken for granted.
So last year, when I read an article about a single mother, diagnosed with terminal cancer, who was searching for a guardian for her eight-year-old son, it caught my eye. Her son’s father was not in the picture, her own parents had passed away and she was an only child herself. She didn’t have any friends or colleagues who she felt she could ask.
I asked myself: how does someone become so alone?
The more I thought of it, the more I realized there are many ways a person can be alone. Some people are physically alone, others are alone in marriage or a decision. Some claim to feel alone even when people surround them. Before I knew it, I had begun a total exploration of the ways one can be alone … and the ways one can rejoin the world, even in the toughest of circumstances.
I called this exploration The Mother’s Promise.
I hope you enjoy it.
After reading this, I was so intrigued and had to get my hands on this book.
Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a close team for Zoe’s entire life. Zoe suffers from severe social anxiety, and Alice has been Zoe’s rock for her whole life. Alice has never told Zoe anything about her father. When Alice gets sick and has a grim prognosis, Alice must reach out to two women she meets at the hospital to help her get through her treatment and with Zoe.
Kate is an oncology nurse and Sonja is a social worker. Both women become entwined in Zoe and Alice’s life and create and discover connections in their lives.
This novel was absolutely beautiful. This is the second Sally Hepworth novel I read, and it was my favorite of her novels so far. Since I was in 7th grade, I lived with just my mom and I, so I could relate with the deep connection of a mother and daughter. My mom also had endometrial cancer several years ago, so I also could relate with the feelings of dealing with sickness and treatment. I also have a child with anxiety, but not nearly to the extreme as Zoe, but it was another connection to my life.
Sally Hepworth is an amazing writer who can touch a woman’s soul with her words. So many themes arise in this book, so I feel that this would be a great book for a book club. I definitely recommend this book and give it 5/5 stars on Goodreads.