Hope McAdams life as she knew it ended on the same day that her eight year old son’s did.
Eight months later she’s trying to regain some semblance of normality, while trying to repair her once perfect marriage to a man who was her best friend, but now a complete stranger. Coming to the painful realization that she must fix the hole that’s deep within her heart, she goes home to the place that she grew up in hopes that time and distance will heal her wounds and lead her back to the man she loves.
Nick Abate is an old friend of Hope’s whose heart is also on the mend. He’s home on leave from the Marines, and when he and Hope reconnect, their friendship picks up right where they left off, years ago. They both begin to heal and feel whole again with the help of each other. But when their friendship crosses the line, will Hope be able to forgive herself and move on, or will the guilt that she is harboring once again cause her to slip back into the place that she has just escaped?
What happens when two tortured souls place their trust in each other? Will they find their way back to the ones they love or will their hearts remain connected forever?
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
G&J 4.5 Stars
‘This is the story about my family. My beautiful son, my once perfect husband, and finding the courage to live and feel whole again.’
Gitte: Okay, before I start I have to say that this has to be one of the most depressing books I’ve read in a long time. It was so damn sad and disturbing I think I continuously burst out crying throughout the whole story. I felt almost involved and devastated as the tragedies just kept on coming and at times they made me uncomfortable reading as I felt undeniably connected. I went through a spectrum of emotions from sadness to hopeful; elation to anger.
“If I can’t even fix myself, how the hell can I even begin to think about fixing us?” – Jamie
Now, the writing was pure class; the moving from past to present flowed perfectly. It was flawless and seemed almost effortless to the point where I felt as if I was watching it play out. My one and only gripe with this story was how predictable it was. I called the twists and the ending a third way through and because of that there was no real surprises for me. It was just a little bit too obvious how it was going to play out sadly.
Nevertheless, this was an astonishingly beautiful depiction of true love, strong friendship, soul-mates, sorrow and learning how to overcome tragedy. A Cry for Hope was an emotionally exhausting journey and I felt every single heavy and burdened step our characters Hope, Jamie & Nick had to take and every bit of the turmoil they went through.
“I can’t start a new life until I can get rid of the painful memories in my old one.” – Nick
It was so very upsetting at times watching what these characters went through to heal themselves and each other. This is one of those stories that deserves for the reader to go into it blind isn’t it Jenny!?
Jenny: Absolutely Gitte! Even though, as you said, the story was a little predictable, it is imperative for readers to enter into A Cry for Hope without spoilers, and without any preconceived ideas about the story. It was so beautifully sad and moving and my heart ached.
I read this whole book with a heavy heart and cried so many times throughout but my heart was also filled with so much hope for these characters. I loved them and wanted them to heal and find that second chance after such a tragic start to the story.
“I’m so sorry for hurting you, Hope. I just want the pain in my heart to go away.” – Jamie
“Me too, but I don’t think it will ever go away, Jamie. It may subside over time, but it will never completely go away.” – Hope
As you said, the past/present switch was executed to perfection leaving me sobbing as I witnessed the destruction of a love that once seemed unbreakable. It crushed me. Experiencing their love from its passionate and loving highs, to its guilt ridden and painful lows really took me on an emotional ride that I’m still thinking about now. These characters own my heart.
Gitte: In my opinion; because the writing was so beautiful and the connection to the characters so easily established early on, you can’t help but feel the intensity of the grief and struggles experienced in the aftermath of Hope and Jamie losing their son Charlie. The grieving process is harrowing; the finger of blame inevitable. I literally cannot imagine anything worse than having to bury your own child. The strength of the love that remains after their marriage hangs in tatters is palpable. As is the strength of friendship and love between Hope and Nick. It touched my heart and broke me to the point of copious tears shed.
“Mommy’s really scared, Charlie, so I’m going to hold your hand, if that’s okay…”
So many hearts connected; such intensity of love felt and such strength of characters and convictions. I felt every word of this second chance emotional romance; you did too didn’t you Jenny?
Jenny: The writing certainly was flawless with the author capturing so fluidly the pain and torment and utter bone crushing grief one would feel in Jamie and Hope’s situation. Each punishing the other for something that was beyond their control, yet at a loss on how to repair and deal with the loss in their hearts. Jamie and Hope loved each other deeply yet how do you cope when that love and commitment is tested, when the man who is the other half of your heart feels so distant?
“I miss my husband. The man that I could tell anything to. The one that I used to laugh and cry with. The one who would hold me in his arms whenever I was feeling down.”
I felt every moment of their pain and I cherished every second of hope they felt. I came undone at times as the love they shared became overshadowed by the pain and guilt over the loss of their beloved son could was mirrored in each other’s eyes. How hard to love someone to your core yet have the person evoke painful memories by their mere existence.
‘I’m not a mom anymore and it just hurts…….’
I felt every moment of this story Gitte, and we shared a few sobbing phone calls throughout and our hearts hurt that’s for sure. This story was a wonderfully told story of second chance love and loss, the importance of friendship and my heart broke and it soared through a story which moved me completely.
J&G: This story was breathtakingly beautiful and earth shattering moving. As it’s told from present to flashbacks we felt as if we were sharing this soul searching journey with Jamie, Hope and Nick.
We experienced Hope and Jamie’s relationship from the heart-warming and tentative new beginning of new love to an intense and solid love between two soul mates right to the moment Jamie and Hope’s world is shattered and beyond.
“You need to stop feeling as if you need to be punished for something that was out of your control.”
Each character is lost in their grief and each handling their feelings differently with Jamie and Hope questioning each other’s actions and as Hope reaches out to her old friend Nick, you wonder if she will find solace in the arms of another, or if her love for Jamie will lead her back to the man who has shared her life, her hopes, her dreams, her happiness and her sorrow.
‘Charlie was the centre of my world. He was the greatest gift that I had ever received…..’
Beth Rinyu handled this story with sensitivity, warmth and beauty. The characters were relatable with each playing such a crucial role in Hope’s healing and we loved every sad yet hopeful step Hope took.
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review