In learning to write about her life, will Hope Nicely finally learn how to live it?
‘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 (including the number one golden rule of ‘show don’t tell’), but may 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 heart-warming, coming-of-age novel about loneliness, friendship, acceptance and, above all, hope.
Caroline Day is a freelance journalist and consultant editor, living in Crouch End, married with kids and two dogs. She is an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course.
I loved this book, I loved Hope. It’s sweet and sad and so hopeful. Hope has had a lot to deal with – her FASD is a lot to deal with and has led to some terrible bullying. But with the love and support of her wonderful mum Jenny, she has found ways to live her life happily. She has the best job – getting to play with lots of lovely dogs and is attending a writing class, so she can write her story.
Hope is resilient and inspiring. And this book had me laughing and crying. Honestly it’s so wonderful. More Hope Nicely please!
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.