Summary: Hope Springs
Jubilee and her Nan are always moving, on the search for their perfect place, and this time Jubilee has her heart set on Hope Springs, Texas. The small town is where her crafting heroine Arletta Paisely is from, and Jubilee is sure that if it’s good enough for Arletta, Hope Springs will immediately feel like home for them, too — because she’s honestly tired of moving and saying (or not saying) goodbyes.
However, when the pair arrive the small town, things don’t get go as planned. Jubilee is quickly befriended by a girl, Abby, who likes to fish. She even finds a part time job in a craft store in town, and then her Momma tries to get back into her life. But then a mega-chain superstore threatens the town’s small businesses. To top it all off, just when Jubilee is settling in and working on a town festival to boost small businesses, Nan starts to get that relocation itch again. Can Jubilee make Hope Springs her home?
I loved this story. It’s as quiet as the small town it’s set in, but it also has so much charm, between Jubilee and the cast of memorable characters she comes to know and love. Abby, Jubilee’s new best friend loves fishing and is pretty good at it too. She teaches Jubilee a lot about showing up for those we love. Holly, who owns the fabric store where Jubilee works is also dealing with her challenges, and it’s sweet to see how Jubilee makes life more enjoyable for all the people she meets — as they do for her too.
I also really liked Jubilee’s Nan. She’s stubborn and has been through a fair share of pain and loss in her life, which she tries to deal with by moving frequently. Wynn is Jubilee’s parents’ childhood friend who comes back into the picture and plays a much-needed uncle role in her life. I loved his character and the interactions between him and Jubilee were some of my favorites.
A huge part of this story is Jubilee’s crafty nature and I was blown away by all the stuff she makes. Better still, young readers will benefit from the DIY instructions the author includes after every few chapters. Some of the items made include a goodbye card and homemade dog treats. The instructions are very much step by step and super easy to follow.
Finally, there’s a touch of activism in this story as Jubilee tries to keep small businesses going by pushing back against the big chain superstore coming to town. I liked the realistic way the author approaches this theme as well as the resolution.
Overall: Hope Springs
Hope Springs is a charming middle grade debut novel about finding home in unexpected places and fighting hard to show up for those we love. Set in a small town, this book shines a light on the value of community, small business, and hands-on hobbies like crafting and fishing! The author also manages to blend tough subjects like grief and disappointment in an idol with humor, heart, and good-natured fun. This is a heartwarming Southern story from a promising debut author I’m excited to read more from.
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.