A Hope for Emily
by Kate Hewitt
Release Date: February 20, 2020
Number of pages: 303
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Read 2/16/20 to 2/22/20
Looking back, I wish I could find my way back to that moment. I’d snatch it and hold onto it and live in it for the rest of my life, if I could. When Emily could still throw her arms around me. Oh God, just give me that moment, or one like it again. That’s all I want.
From the moment Emily was born, reaching out with her tiny little star-shaped hand towards her mother, blinking with long eyelashes over soft blue eyes, she became Rachel’s whole world.
But Rachel’s worst nightmare comes true when a rare auto-immune illness leaves four-year-old Emily in a coma the doctors say she may never come out of. And Rachel has to make a heartbreaking decision—one that her ex-husband, Emily’s dad James, doesn’t agree with.
Terrified she’s going to lose her daughter for good, Rachel knows she must find a way to keep the hope alive for Emily. But there is only one person she can turn to for help to convince James—and it’s his new wife, Eva.
As an unlikely but powerful friendship develops between the two women, both Rachel and Eva will have to ask themselves—what is truly the right choice for the tiny, fragile little girl who lies between them?
I found the concept of this story to be intriguing and knew there were many ways this story could go, depending on how the author wanted everything to play out. This is going to be extremely hard for me to review for multiple reasons. I abhor spoilers, but when I’m giving a book a mediocre review I want to give my reasons. Afterall, to each his own and there are many readers out there that may really like this story. I’ll do the best I can.
As I said, the concept is great. The biggest problem I had is my dislike of the characters. The book goes back and forth between the thoughts and views of two women, Rachel and Eva. They are the ex-wife and current wife of James. All three of these people have no quality to had me rooting for them. Eva came the closest, but for someone who was supposed to be a strong-minded business woman she sure didn’t speak up for herself very often. I will say I was a fan of Rachel’s mom, who we didn’t see too terribly much. But she had a knack of supporting her daughter while not feeding into Rachel’s obsession. I’m telling you, this is a book full of people who supposedly love and care about each other and little Emily (who is in a sort of coma), but do not express their feelings or thoughts to each other AT ALL. It got to be annoying.
One of the things I had an issue with is something I know is a bias, it really doesn’t have to do with the characters or the writers. That is, I did not in any way agree with the course of action Rachel was pushing so hard for when it came to Emily’s care. Yet, while I didn’t agree with Rachel, I couldn’t get on board with the way James was handling her through it all. Of course, a reader does not have to agree with the actions of the characters in order to enjoy the story. But I was so annoyed with all the characters that I just couldn’t get into this book.
There is quite a disconnect among the characters even when it comes to things that don’t have to do with Emily. The relationships just didn’t seem realistic to me. Yes, I know it’s fiction. But it’s a serious story and I think it’s meant to be believable. This is not a case of me being unable to suspend my disbelief since it’s not that type of book.
It’s not all bad. I did find this story to move slowly, but the author’s writing is smooth and has a good rhythm. As I’ve mentioned, I liked Rachel’s mom. There is also a character that comes in later, Rachel’s new neighbor, that I enjoyed. But overall, these couple side characters couldn’t redeem the story as a whole.
I’ve read other books by this author that I really enjoyed, so I’m sure I’ll try another book from her in the future. This one just wasn’t for me.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**