Neither myself nor my daughter who read this book, though I have to confess to reading it afterwards, (I only meant to skim through it but got caught up) had read any of Sarah’s work before so we weren’t sure what to expect.
The story is set in the French mountains and centres around 12 year old Hope Malone, her mum (but referred to by everyone including Hope as Marianne), her mum’s boyfriend Frank and his donkey Harry, oh and not forgetting Hope’s best friend Peter.
This story was especially poignant to us as in the story Hope and Frank have built up a great relationship, much like the one my own daughter has with my partner Mr B, and it really hit home how important these relationships become to children and how devastating a split can be not just to the adults but to the children involved too, especially if one of the adults is not a parent.
The subject is addressed in the story as Frank, aware that he has to move on helps Hope build a new relationship with his trusted donkey Harry, and although she still has difficulty with the parting she is given a new focus and someone who now relies on her to be strong and in turn helps her learn the skills to build a better relationship with her mum.
This is beautifully written, you can imagine the countryside, the huge dominating mountains and lush green meadows, as the story moves through the seasons, Hope moves on and changes with them.
Sad, moving but also heartwarming and uplifting this story is an example to all adults about not forgetting the effect their relationships have on the children and I loved it for that. My daughter loved it too, particularly the touching friendship between Hope and Peter (of course she loved that she’s a 10 year old girl) and of course because it has Harry the kind of pet every girl would love to have.
If you’d like to hear an extract of the story you can listen here.
This is one of the nicest childrens books I’ve read in a while (a nice change from snogging, cheerleaders and text talk), Harry and Hope is now available on Amazon or in bookstores across the UK and I am pleased to say I also have a copy to give away to one lucky person. Just click on the rafflecopter link below to enter.