The Hope Chest takes me back to all the wonderful memories I have of my mother and grandmother. My mother had her own hope chest and I fondly remember how intrigued I was with all of the things inside. She had a beautiful rich brown lace dress with a velvet sash that I thought was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. I remember putting it on and twirling around our living room. I was sure my mom was the most glamorous person ever born. My grandmother also had a cherished set of desert rose china that she kept on display in her china cabinet. I hadn't really thought about either of these things for years and reading The Hope Chest instantly took me back to that time in my life.
The books also are precious to me because of the Ozarks setting. I was born and raised in Southwest Missouri and still live here to this day. I'm also an alumni of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri so that particular reference to the chapel there as well as the narrative about the Muny and other locations in Forest Park brought back even more memories for me.
I think for all of these reasons I'm drawn to Viola Shipman's books, both The Hope Chest and The Charm Bracelet. The books are like wonderful trips down memory lane. In my opinion, we could use more novels about family traditions and passing those traditions down through the generations.
I just thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope there are many more Viola Shipman novels in the future. The Hope Chest would be a perfect book for a book club discussion, Mother's Day gift or to share with a close friend.
I received this book courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books St. Martin's Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.