A Little Hope

Ethan Joella. Scribner, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982171-19-3
The residents of a small Connecticut city navigate grief and hope in Joella’s tender debut, a series of vignettes marked by a sense of connection and community. In the opening, Freddie Taylor and her husband, Greg, both nearing 40, grapple with his cancer diagnosis. Freddie had planned to return to writing fiction once their daughter started school, but instead takes a part-time job as a seamstress while Greg, who has worked hard to make v-p at a financial services firm, wishes he were handling the illness better instead of turning prickly toward Freddie and his boss, Alex Lionel. Alex’s own fear and guilt are detailed in a later chapter about a long-ago affair he had after the death of his son at 14. Now Alex is hoping his wife of 50 years, Kay, will meet his lovely grown daughter Iris from that tryst. There’s also Darcy Crowley, the widow who started the dry-cleaning business where Freddie works and wishes to mend things with her son, who has become addicted to pills and alcohol after his dad’s death and a breakup with his girlfriend. The prose can be simplistic, but Joella has a good handle on each of the many characters. Throughout, the overlapping story lines keep readers turning the pages. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/23/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-7121-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-3802-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-3804-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-9821-7120-9
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