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The Mother's Promise by Sally Hepworth

This is a powerful novel, one that you will need to keep the tissues handy when reading. Single mother Alice has raised her daughter Zoe on her own as she has no family to speak off. Alice has never revealed the identity of Zoe’s father. Mother and daughter are a tight unit, and Alice is very protective of her daughter, especially as Zoe has social anxiety disorder, which makes being a fifteen-year-old at high school even more fraught. But they are doing okay and are fine on their own.

But then Alice is diagnosed with cancer, and she has to reach out to other people to help out with Zoe while she goes through surgery and treatment. Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, her social worker, soon become crucial to her and Zoe’s lives. But Kate and Sonja are battling their own personal battles, and soon the three lives of these women become even more intertwined. This is a emotional, heart-felt read, as each of the characters is forced to confront their deepest secrets and fears. This is a first-rate novel, and through it all it shows the strength of a mother’s love for her daughter, even in the darkest of times.

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