Today, of all days, a good book with a message of hope is needed thing. Sitting down to read Believe by Shelly Hickmangave me that hope again. On a day when we mourn the loss of 2977 people.
Hickman’s story is of a mother who has lost her daughter to leukemia, then loses her faith and her will to go on. She desperately clings to memories which only send her further into a downward spiral. Then, an old lover returns to her life, one who had broken her heart, but the lover returns with an agony of his own–his child is dying with the same disease that killed her daughter. The question is, can she find her way out of her own blackness to help him and help herself? Can she even help herself?
As child of a cancer victim, the last thing I wanted was to dive into a “woe is me” book. I didn’t find one here. Hickman never goes for the sucker punch, the easy tear jerker. Oh, I did cry a bit because I remember those days, the trips to the oncology center for the treatments, the bad days of nausea, and the good days of being tired. It’s hard not to want to go for the easy weepy storyline. But at no time did Hickman ever do anything more than an honest portrayal of the survivor afterwards. She doesn’t ask you to feel sorry for her characters. All she does is show you what walking their shoes is like and lets you draw your own feelings from the story.
Her characters are realistic, strong, and sometimes make mistakes along the way that we all make. Her plot is tight and bare as she lays it all out for the reader. There is never a point where you’ll be bored, never a point where you want to know what you missed. I was drawn into the story, easily understanding the emotions of each character.
There is hope in this book, there is a positive message of remembering those who have crossed on and those who are still living, finding a reason to draw breath each day and welcoming the sun. And when you need a good reminder of that message, this book will give it to you. It will help you believe in a higher power and a purpose for each of us.
I seldom give five star reviews any longer, but I think this one definitely deserves it.
You can find Believe by Shelly Hickman through all online booksellers as well as locally from Joseph-Beth Booksellers in the Lexington Green Mall on Nicholasville Road or Barnes & Noble in the Hamburg Pavilion Shopping Center on Man o’ War Blvd.
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