As readers enjoy the thirty-four very different vignettes in Heart Full of Hope, they will surely internalize author Christine Geery's warm, hopeful perspective about the importance of living a simple life with lots of love and few regrets. Though some stories in this memoir are filled with difficult family dynamics and grief, all are a glimpse into a cohesive perspective of self-awareness, positivity, and hope that is worth aspiring to. Readers get to know Christine Geery through intimately told 'pictures' (but not complexly woven stories) of her early Catholic upbringing, her extended family, her marriages and her children, as well as chapters about people she doesn't know well. Through this book, Geery memorializes moments as well as people (and her big sweetheart of a dog). One could say this book is like a patchwork quilt: small parts come together to make the picture whole.
The tone ranges from bitingly funny to contemplative and sometimes tragic. Above all, Geery offers hope of moving on through grief and ongoing difficulties as she shares the story of her own human condition. Our lives must be lived even as "life happens", and nothing is ever perfect--though life always offers a chance to do better than what we were given as children. As loved ones pass away around her and others prove disappointing, Christine Geery finds a way to reach out to every corner of her experience and show readers how acceptance of self and others is the only way to finding lasting peace and joy. Readers will feel as though they are reading the diary of a dear friend, and will likely learn about themselves at the same time. Heart Full of Hope may deeply help those who have experienced hardships similar to hers, though one need not relate to everything in order to enjoy the book.
Professional book reviewer for multiple trade publications such as Clarion