Sally Hepworth has recently become one of my favourite authors for her heart wrenching stories of families in unthinkable situations and even though at their core they are sad, they are also infused with humour and hope.
The Mother’s Promise is the story of Alice and her daughter Zoe, who suffers from crippling anxiety and social problems and their evolving relationship which follows Alice’s diagnosis of terminal cancer.
With no reliable family for support Alice has to impose on the kindness of two women who come into her life; Kate her oncology nurse and Sonja a social worker who is assigned to the case to deal with Zoe’s welfare as her mother undergoes treatment. What transpires is a story of personal growth on Zoe’s part and the impact on her mother as she watches Zoe’s personal growth whilst undergoing her own personal trauma.
The story could have become overwhelming emotional and while it has its moments it is also incredibly uplifting and shows that family do not necessarily need to be related.