Hospice care brings unlikely characters together in this emotional novel from Coleman (The Day We Met, 2015, etc.).
Stella is a hospice nurse who works the night shift as a way of avoiding her husband, an injured Afghanistan veteran. Although Vincent survived, he came home with an injury and an emotional wall that Stella can’t quite scale. With their marriage in trouble, Stella throws herself into her work, which includes helping dying patients write letters to their loved ones. One of Stella’s patients, Hope, isn’t dying…at least not right now. She’s a cystic fibrosis patient who’s recuperating from a particularly bad infection, and she’s almost ready to go home and get back to her life. Or at least she would be, if Hope could get the courage to actually have a life. And then there’s Hugh, a lonely bachelor who's drawn to the single mother next door. At first, the only thing that unites Hugh with the women in the hospice is the cat that spends its days at his apartment and its nights with the patients. That is, until an unexpected letter changes Hugh’s life in a way he never imagined and connects him to Stella. Stella’s struggle to save her marriage, Hope’s journey toward taking chances and falling in love, and Hugh’s battle with his past are all interspersed with touching letters from hospice patients. The setting may seem an unlikely place to find hope, but Coleman has written a poignant story that examines the value of life, love, and forgiveness.
A tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting story.