High Hopes by Sue Lilley


★★★★☆

Review:

I tend to gravitate toward fiction where the main characters are forced to confront certain difficult topics while emotions run high. When I read the official review for this book on Online Book Club, I was immediately drawn to it.

Grace has come to Penrowan to finally come clean with a secret that she has kept hidden for two decades: she has a daughter—whom she quietly gave up for adoption—by her best friend Sam. Sam is married to Dixie, and he was dating Dixie at the time of his tryst with Grace. Dixie has always harbored jealousy of Grace, even though the two women are friends, so this news is sure to destroy everyone involved.

The thing is, when she arrives, she cannot muster the courage to divulge her secret right away. Each time she has an opening, she changes the subject. Her openings are becoming fewer as the days leading up to the birthday party that Sam and Dixie are hosting for Grace draw nearer.

In the midst of everything, Grace gravitates toward Sam and Dixie's 25-year-old gardener. Although he is almost two decades younger than everyone else, he is often the voice of reason, rescuing all of the older adults from themselves. He is the most loveable character by far. As for the other characters, you will have a love-hate relationship with them. Their overreactive emotions can be irksome, but with secrets of this magnitude, I really wouldn't expect anything else.

This story is not a romance, despite how it has been marketed. It would be better classified as women's fiction. There are a few quick, steamy scenes, but the theme is not one of romance.

The author chose to break up the chapters into many sections, with each section being given from a different character's point of view. Sometimes, the breaks in chapters and sections seemed to have no rhyme or reason in their placement. Aside from this, the story was well-constructed, though the conclusion could have been a little more developed; the ending felt a bit rushed after how much time was spent building up to it.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read with memorable characters.

I would like to thank Online Book Club and Book Sirens for introducing me to this author. I received a free Kindle ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Audience: adult
Trigger warnings: moderate sexual content
Recommended for fans of: contemporary, women's fiction, chick lit

Author's Synopsis:

“It was one stolen night. He was my soulmate and I’d never felt more alive. I couldn’t tell him I got pregnant. It would’ve ruined everything. But now his daughter wants to meet him and I need to make things right.” Another tear escaped down her cheek. “Everybody’s going to hate me.” 

Best friends are rocked by a heart-breaking revelation. Their cozy world is blown apart, surely there can be no second chances. How can a future be built on the quicksand of secrets and lies? Steamy, passionate, and unpredictable. If you like sizzling love triangles, don’t miss this uplifting romance.

Grace has a heart-rending secret – a love child she gave up for adoption. She was a penniless student, how could she raise a baby alone? Now, years later, her long-lost daughter is searching for answers and Grace gets a letter that will change everything.

The father is her best friend, who never knew about the baby. If Grace confesses now, she’ll destroy his marriage. But Grace yearns to do the right thing by her daughter, so does she have a choice?

Source:

Online Book Club, Book Sirens

©Sue Lilley: April 18, 2016
Edition: Kindle ARC
328 pages


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