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A Miracle on Hope Street by Emma Heatherington
Can a single act of kindness change a life forever?
Ruth Ryans is a well established celebratory agony aunt. Her life is full of social events and glamour, with a different beau on her arm for every night of the week. Ruth has a heart of gold and her advice is cherished and trusted by many who seek out her help with problems they are having.
Ruth has responded to many folk over the years and for along time it made Ruth feel both enriched and happy with the work she was doing. But as the years have passed these feelings of fulfillment have faded, leaving Ruth feeling drained and somewhat downcast with her life.
Ruth’s mother left the family home when Ruth was young, leaving her father to raise herself and her sister Ally on his own. This dramatic change in family life had left a lasting mark on Ruth, perhaps the driving force behind her chosen career to help others. Ruth never gives herself over to anyone, always holding back that little final bit, keeping a protective shell in place. For Ruth this has meant that she has very few close friends in life. People love her, her work colleagues envy her but Ruth has no one special person in her life outside of her father and sister.
Ruth’s life changes one dark and cold Winter’s evening. After receiving a phone call that her father has taken a turn for the worse, Ruth unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events. Her unthinking generosity helps Michael, a homeless man, to see that there is hope, there is a light at the end of that tunnel.
Now a year later, Ruth lives alone in the family home. Although a beautiful house originally, it is now but a shadow of it’s former glory, with very little changed since Ruth was a child. Ruth feels very lonely in this space and dreads Christmas alone, with all the memories coming crashing down on her of the many happy and poignant times spent as a family under this roof.
With Christmas day only a week away, Ruth picks from the selection of emails she has received to her column, and sends out invitations to people she feels need help the most over this festive period. The invitation is to spend Christmas day at her table, in the company of herself and others who feel lost at this festive time. Ruth is energised and inspired and is determined to make this Christmas a very special one indeed.
A Miracle on Hope Street is a book that will genuinely leave you with a warmth in your heart. Emma Heatherington has brought together a wonderful cast of characters. None are perfect. All have issues. All are lonely. We have no idea what is going on in the minds of others. We are fooled by their smile, when inside their hearts may be breaking. A kind word, a small act of generosity can make such a big difference to someone. So perhaps it’s time we all took a page out of Ruth Ryans’ book and did one random act of kindness this Christmas.
Emotional. Heart-warming. Uplifting.
(c) Swirl and Thread
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