Book Review: Hope was Here | Hamro Patro

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Book Review: Hope was Here

   Sauharda Bajracharya - Jan 13 2023

Hope was a teenager who was 14 at the time was living with her aunt Addie. One of the many themes of this book is abandonment. When Hope was born, doctors had said that she had little chance of surviving. But when Hope survived, Hope’s mother, Deena, didn't want to take care of Hope. Hence, Deena left Hope with her sister, Addie. Such incidents can also be seen in the real world. Some parents abandon their children when they can not take the responsibility of raising them.

Hope, originally named Tulip had changed her name at the age of 12 and wanted to start a new beginning. Hope along with her aunt Addie travel from New York to Wisconsin. Before leaving she leaves a mark there by writing “Hope was Here”. On the way to Wisconsin, she looks at the 11 scrapbooks that are filled with memories. After arriving in Wisconsin, Hope and Addie get hired at Stairways diner. G.T. Stoop, the owner of Stairways diner, was suffering from leukemia and didn’t have many years to live.

Eight men enter the diner with buttons that say “VOTE FOR ELI MILLSTONE.” Hope overhears the men making fun of Yuri and instantly decides that she doesn’t like Eli Millstone. After dinner, Hope and Addie move their stuff in their apartment above the diner. The very next day, Hope and Addie go down to the diner and find G.T on the grill performing tricks. He didn’t seem like a person with cancer at all. While they were talking, Braverman, a tall guy with wavy black hair, introduces himself as the grill man. G.T. Stoop wants to run for mayor but another strong candidate, Eli Millstone is also running for mayor. Braverman tells Hope that Millstone has been mayor for the last eight years and everyone in town is too afraid to run against him. G.T. gives a speech and exposes Millstone’s tax fraud at the Real Fresh Dairy.

At the same time, G.T. announces that he needs 200 votes to get on the ballot officially. At closing time, Braverman asks Hope to join him. Hope and Braverman knock on every door to get G.T. on the ballot. But, only a few people vote for him because they would risk losing their job at Dairy. At the same instant, supporters of Mayor Millstone were sabotaging GT’s campaign. After getting enough votes, they were overjoyed. The next morning, everybody shows up at the Election Board. The Election Board administrator shows them fifty-five names which all had wrong addresses. The administrator doesn’t cooperate with them and doesn’t agree to give more time. But, after Pastor Hall reminds the administrator that God always gives a second chance, the administrator gives them an extension of the time limit to 5 o’clock. They go to get the fifty-five signatures with correct addresses. As Hope goes downstairs to the diner, she sees Adam run into the diner and give the news that they have officially made it on the ballot with 2 minutes to spare. Everyone cheers, but suddenly the diner’s door bursts open. It was Eli Millstone who had come to sabotage G.T, once again.

One day, G.T. asks Hope what her mother is like. Hope replies that she is a good waiter but a bad parent. That evening Addie shares the news that Deena will be arriving in Mulhoney in a few days. And soon enough, Deena arrives in Mulhoney and shows up in the diner. Hope’s eyes are full of tears, she runs in the kitchen, but Braverman makes her laugh by wearing a clown mask. Hope leaves the kitchen wearing the same mask and delivers food with the mask on. Deena is impressed by her daughter’s skills as a waitress.

G.T. shows romantic interest towards Addie and asks her on a date. Addie replies yes and everyone in the diner is shocked. Encouraged by G.T’s success, Braverman asks Hope out on a date, Hope also replies with a no. Asking someone for a date out is either hit or miss. Some may say yes but some may say no as well. But in this case, Hope said no because her mother had always told her not to date anyone from work. After a few days, Braverman suggests a practice date. He makes pork chop sandwiches, sets up a vase of flowers and a candle, and a table for two. Hope and Braverman become a couple after their first kiss. Later, G.T. asks Addie if she will marry him and she replies with a yes.

A few days later, Sheriff Deputy Brenda Babcock arrests two guys for robbing Adam’s house. After the evidence is shown, the two guys(The Carbinger brothers) admit to taking bribes from people who opposed Millstone. They also admit to tipping off the Local Sheriff L.Greebs while they were robbing Adam’s house. L.Greebs denies this and Millstone tells everyone that it is a trick played by G.T. They claim that G.T’s leukemia has spread to his brain and tell nonsense about G.T. Soon enough, the election results are out. Millstone had won by 114 votes.

The Election Board workers go to each and every house in the town and they find out that 120 of the votes had never been registered. The next morning, it is announced that Millstone has resigned. G.T. is now the mayor of the town and he jumps right into action.

The book skips to one and a half year later where Hope has graduated from high school and is about to leave for college. But as she is about to leave, she finds out that G.T. has passed away. She is devastated because she saw G.T. as her own father. She has to leave the town but before she leaves, she pulls out her pen and writes “Hope Was Here”.

This book is marvelous but the ending is quite sad. This is a perfect book for teenagers because it relates with our lives. Hope is a teen just like us and we share almost everything in common. This book also uses simple language and is easy to understand.

Sauharda Bajracharya
Grade: IX, Nilgiri
Deerwalk Sifal School 

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