Author: Emma Heatherington
Published: September 2018 by HarperImpulse
Category: Christmas, Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review
Can a single act of kindness change a life forever?
To many people Ruth Ryans has everything: the perfect job, a home to die for and a loving family. But it’s all lies. As Christmas approaches, Ruth feels lonelier than ever.
Ruth Ryans’ public persona is that of a well known and loved agony aunt who writes a weekly column for the city’s biggest newspaper. In private she’s totally different, leaving her celebrity image at the door to her lonely, sad existence.
She has wise words, offering hope and comfort to others but is unable to do the same for herself. It’s eight days before Christmas and the first anniversary of her father’s death. This, together with the ongoing pain of her mother’s rejection, cause her to dread the festive season.
‘…..the last thing I need to be doing is sitting at home alone, thinking about the past twelve months and how agonising it was to watch my father, once a strong, handsome, intelligent man wither away before my eyes.
Of course Ruth isn’t on her own judging by the amount of mail she receives. Marian Devine was trying without success to carry on with her life after the death of her husband. Molly Flowers’ husband has been made redundant and money is more than tight. Molly doesn’t know how they’ll get through this Christmas. Paul Connolly is a young man fighting a drug addiction all alone. Nicholas Taylor is divorced, living in a tiny fourth floor apartment unable even to play the music he loves because the neighbours complain at the noise. Kelly Robinson was facing Christmas without her baby girl. It was her ex boyfriend’s turn to have their daughter. Real situations that impact on people’s lives.
A visit to her favourite cafe run by her friend Gloria, helps Ruth put things into perspective and form a plan, as she learns how a random act of kindness during one of her bleakest moments a year ago, changed someone’s life.
The underlying message of A Miracle on Hope Street is clear – kindness costs nothing and sometimes, by helping others, you reap more rewards than you could have imagined. Even if you never find out, your helping hand might just be the turning point for that person. Despite the unhappy circumstances of the characters and the topics it encompasses, this is a moving story full of hope and inspiration. Some of the introspective passages are a little too long and repetitive for me, but that aside it’s a perfect read for the season, showing what Christmas should be about. The romance aspect doesn’t overwhelm the narrative and if, now and again, the characters seem a little too effusive…we’ll, it’s Christmas and they’re all hoping for a new lease of life. A story of love, loss and kindness.
I chose to read and review A Miracle on Hope Street based on a copy of the book supplied by NetGalley and the author/publisher.
About the Author
Emma Heatherington is an international bestselling author from Donaghmore, County Tyrone.
Her novels include the Amazon UK Top 10 bestseller and Amazon US hit, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, and more recently, A Part of Me and You, which reached the USA Kindle Top 100 and the UK Top 40. Her books are also published in Germany and Holland.
Her next novel, A Miracle on Hope Street is a heartwarming Christmas themed story of love, kindness and friendship and is out on ebook format in September 2018.
As well as her own novels, Emma has written scripts for over 70 educational short films and plays and was ghostwriter for country legend Philomena Begley on her autobiography, My Life My Music My Memories (The O’Brien Press, 2017) and Nathan Carter’s life story, Born For The Road, which will be published in September 2018 (Penguin Ireland).
She also regularly contributes to the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life newspapers and has appeared on chat shows on RTE, TV3 and UTV.
Emma is a mum of five, aged from 22 to 3 years old and her partner is Irish artist and singer/songwriter Jim McKee.