Category Archives: Hope on the Inside

Review: Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick

Title:Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In this compelling, heartwarming novel from New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick, one woman finds new purpose in a new phase of life . . .

“Whatever comes your way, find the happiness in it.” Hope Carpenter received that advice from her mother decades ago. Now, with their four children grown, Hope and her husband, Rick, are suddenly facing an uncertain future, after a forced retirement strains both their savings and their marriage. Seeking inspiration and a financial boost, Hope gets a job teaching crafts to inmates at a local women’s prison.

At first, Hope feels foolish and irrelevant, struggling to relate to women whose choices seem so different from her own. But with time, and the encouragement of the prison chaplain, she begins to discover common ground with the inmates, in their worries about their children and families, their fear of having failed those who need them. Just like her, they want to make something of themselves, but believe it might be impossible.

Embarking on an ambitious quilting project, Hope and her students begin to bond. Together, piece by piece, they learn to defy expectations—their own and others’—and to see that it’s never too late to stitch together a life that, even in its imperfections, is both surprising and beautiful.


Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick is a captivating novel of family, friendship and new beginnings.

Hope Carpenter’s life changes drastically following her husband Rick’s unexpected forced retirement. They manage to keep their heads above water but when cuts in school funding eliminate her teaching position, their financial situation is becoming increasingly precarious. Despite a few misgivings, Rick and Hope sell their home in Portland and move to Olympia to be closer to their daughter, McKenzie. After settling into their new life, Hope is hired by the local women’s prison as an arts and crafts instructor. Despite her trepidation and rather bumpy first month on the job, she is pleasantly surprised by how much her students and her new career mean to her. On the home front, she and Rick are experiencing an unsettled period in their marriage as he struggles to find a job.  Will Hope and Rick regain their once close relationship?

Hope is an incredibly upbeat woman who faces the upheaval in her life with a positive attitude. She does not allow her disappointment over the move or lack of support from Rick stop her from accepting the job at the prison.  Instead, she throws herself wholeheartedly into her new career.  Hope does have to work hard to overcome the prison superintendent’s stringent rules to achieve her goal of helping the women learn valuable life lessons through quilting. As she settles into her new career, Hope cannot help but become invested in one of the inmates as she prepares for life after her release from prison.

Once a valuable and sought after employee, Rick is taken aback by how deeply affected he is by the loss of his job. He is also dealing with a heartbreaking loss in addition to losing his career and their relocation. Disheartened by his dismal job search, Rick eases his frustration by immersing himself in baking and watching cooking shows.  He does finally begin to find his way out of his depression, but is it too late for Rick to get his marriage back on track?

Well written with a socially relevant storyline, Hope on the Inside is an uplifting novel of self-discovery. Hope is a gregarious woman who refuses to allow the problems in her life keep her down. Rick’s situation is an all too common occurrence in today’s business environment. With a cast of appealing characters and realistic story arcs, this newest release by Marie Bostwick is a thought-provoking story that is realistic, heartfelt and inspirational. Old and new fans do not want to miss this incredible novel of hope, courage and compassion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Hope on the Inside, Kensington Books, Marie Bostwick, Rated B+, Review, Women's Fiction