For my second post of the day I’m very pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the utterly delightful Hope Nicely’s Lessons For Life by Caroline Day. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this gorgeously written and heartwarming book.
About the book:
Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Rosie Project.
I don’t have any friends, only dog ones, because they don’t make you do bad things. I don’t want any human friends, actually. It’s for the best.’
Hope Nicely hasn’t had an easy life.
But she’s happy enough living at 23 Station Close with her mum, Jenny Nicely, and she loves her job, walking other people’s dogs. She’s a bit different, but as Jenny always tells her, she’s a rainbow person, a special drop of light.
It’s just . . . there’s something she needs to know. Why did her birth mother abandon her in a cardboard box on a church step twenty-five years ago? And did she know that drinking while pregnant could lead to Hope being born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
In a bid to find her birth mother and the answers to these questions, Hope decides to write her autobiography. Despite having been bullied throughout school, Hope bravely joins an evening class where Hope will not only learn the lessons of writing, but will also begin to discover more about the world around her, about herself and even make some (human) friends.
But when Jenny suddenly falls ill, Hope realises there are many more lessons to come . . .
Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life is a heartwarming, coming-of-age novel about loneliness, friendship, acceptance and, above all, hope.
About the author:
As a freelance journalist for national magazines and newspapers, Caroline Day wrote other people’s stories: happy stories and sad stories, stories of the greatest tribulations and triumphs. To do this right, Caroline spent many hundreds of hours, trying to truly listen to what each of these people had to say.
Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life is Caroline’s first novel. And although fictional characters are a little trickier to interview, Caroline hopes that Hope will feel that she has listened well.
Caroline lives in North London, with her husband, son, daughter and two obscenely greedy rescue dogs
Hope Nicely’s Lessons For Life by Caroline Day is a gorgeously written book that captured my heart from the very first page. An utterly delightful and heartwarming read, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Hope from the moment she was introduced. This is a book that will make you laugh out loud one moment and then burst into tears the next, wanting nothing more than to wrap your arms around Hope and protect her from the harshness of the world around her.
Authentically written with a raw honesty that tugs at your heartstrings, the writing style of this book is different to what I’m used to but, once I’d got used to the way the writing flowed, one that worked incredibly well for me. It may not work for everyone, but for me it brought Hope and her story vividly to life, making her feel like someone I actually knew rather than only a character on the page.
Hope Nicely is a 25 year old dog walker who lives with her adoptive mum, Jenny. Told in the first person, Hope tells us that she’s decided to write her autobiography, in the hope that it will help her find her real mum. Abandoned as a baby, Hope was born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which means that her ‘brain is a bit like a jumble sale’ or, as her adoptive mother always tells her, that she’s a ‘rainbow person, a special drop of light’.
Bullied throughout her schooldays, Hope has only ever had friends of the canine kind, so it is a brave leap of faith that sees her join a local writing class. Although not without its challenges, she soon begins to enjoy the new knowledge opening up before her and the mostly inclusive attitude of her fellow classmates, with one in particular helping her when she is most in need of a friend.
Hoping to find her birth mother so that the questions that have haunted her all her life can finally be answered, Hope has no idea just how much the decision to write her own story is about to impact on her life, opening up her world more than she ever would have thought possible. And then her adoptive mother, Jenny, suddenly falls ill and Hope realises that she still has even more lessons to learn…
As the parent of a young adult with a disability, many of the themes touched on in Hope Nicely’s Lessons For Life are achingly familiar to me. Caroline Day has written a heartwarming book filled with love, friendship and a raw honesty that touched me more than words can say. It is a book that shows the importance of inclusivity and how it feels to finally be accepted for who you are. I loved Hope, a character who became like a real person to me, and felt bereft to have to say goodbye as I turned the final page.
A beautifully written book that will stay with me, Hope Nicely’s Lessons For Life is an utterly delightful read that I adored, leaving me with a warm feeling of hope as the story came to a close. Highly recommended.
Hope Nicely’s Lessons For Life by Caroline Day is available to purchase now.
Check out what these other fantastic bloggers have to say about this book: