Hope Always Rises by Kathie Giorgio takes readers on a remarkable journey through an afterlife like no other. In this thought-provoking novel, Heaven is not a place of angels and harps but a gated community for those who chose to end their lives—a surprising revelation for the 43-year-old protagonist, Hope. She has always grappled with deep sadness, seeking answers and solutions throughout her life, but to no avail. When she arrives in Heaven, God holds the key to the root of her sadness, promising answers but withholding them for now, adding an intriguing layer of mystery to the narrative.
The strength of the story lies in the mandatory group therapy sessions that all community residents must attend, with Hope's first group led by none other than the iconic author Virginia Woolf. Through these sessions, the author introduces a nuanced array of characters, each with their own stories and struggles. Giorgio's storytelling shines as she seamlessly weaves these individual narratives into the fabric of the overarching plot. The novel's ability to tackle the sensitive subject of suicide with compassion and insight makes it a wonderful read that will resonate with readers. Giorgio explores Hope's emotional turmoil, offering readers a raw and authentic portrayal of her struggles. As Hope navigates her newfound existence, we witness her transformation, growth, and the gradual restoration of her forgotten artistic talents and passions.
Giorgio's writing style is engaging, peppered with moments of humor that provide a refreshing balance to the weighty themes. The novel's portrayal of God as remarkably human in the most inhuman of ways adds a unique and thought-provoking dimension to the story. Hope Always Rises is a compelling testament to the enduring power of healing, forgiveness, and friendship, even in the face of life's most profound mysteries, a delightful exploration of the human experience, both in life and beyond. It is has psychological depth. In a world where it is hard to talk about suicide, this book sheds light on the possibility of redemption. Fans of Mitch Albom will adore Giogior’s writing and her creativity in imagining a world where the bridge between the here and beyond is fascinating.