The Hope Family Calendar by Mike Gayle

The Hope Family Calendar

Mike Gayle

The Hope Family Calendar tracks Tom and Linda's emotional and surprising journey in the days and months following the sudden death of his wife/her daughter. Despite the tragic backdrop to the story it never becomes maudlin. Yes there is sadness, but there is also humour and a gallon load of warmth in the storytelling; you get the impression that the author really cares for the characters.

Extract

'So are you going in or what?'
It was a good question. I took a deep breath and pushed open the door. As the old man and I entered the room everyone in the circle turned to look at us. A man with small round John Lennon glasses and long, dark brown hair swept up into a ponytail smiled as us. He had the air of being someone in charge.
'Welcome, guys.' He gestured to us to sit down. 'Come on in, the more the merrier.'
Evidently the old man wasn't impressed at being addressed as a 'guy' by someone young enough to be his grandson, because he tutted under his breath so loudly that he might as well have shouted his displeasure. He and I took seats next to each other and after I'd exchanged a number of awkward smiles with the rest of the group, Ponytail checked his watch and announced that he was officially beginning the session.
'First off,' said Ponytail, 'I'd Just like to say how wonderful it is to see a few new faces ... and a few old ones too! For those who have never been before, here' what we're about in a nutshell: coping.

Parallels
  • The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman
  • How to be Happy by Eva Woods

Books with similar mood

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Toshikazu Kawaguchi

The Night Rainbow

Claire King

Her Mother's Hands

Karmele Jaio

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Ayelet Waldman

Revenge of the Middle-aged Woman

Elizabeth Buchan

Cairo Stories

Anne-Marie Drosso

The Eyrie

Stevie Davies

Tears of the Giraffe

Alexander McCall Smith

PS, I Love You

Cecelia Ahern

The Funnies

J.Robert Lennon

Pears on a Willow Tree

Leslie Pietrzyk

River, Cross My Heart

Breena Clarke

Tell it to the Bees

Fiona Shaw

The Pocket Guide to Being an Indian Girl

B K Mahal

Five Photos of my Wife

Agnes Desarthe

The Reluctant Mullah

Sagheer Afzal

Short Girls

Bich Minh Nguyen

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

Alice Munro

The Pact We Made

Layla AlAmmar

An Unremarkable Body

Elisa Lodato

The Report

Jessica Francis Kane

Ugly Duckling

Amita Mukerjee

A Rhinestone Button

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Death in Pont-Aven

Jean-Luc Bannalec

Sworn Virgin

Elvira Dones

Alice Bliss

Laura Harrington

Anatomy of a Disappearance

Hisham Matar

The Visiting Angel

Paul Wilson

The Well and the Mine

Gin Phillips

Freak of Nature

Phil Whitaker

Wolfy and the Strudelbakers

Zvi Jagendorf

Empty Words

Mario Levrero

The Restoration of Otto Laird

Nigel Packer

Rook

Jane Rusbridge

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

Bowing to Winter

June Hall

Buddha Da

Anne Donovan

Brooklyn

Colm Toibin

Let's Twist Again

Leo Cullen

The Twisted Heart

Rebecca Gowers

Vaclav and Lena

Haley Tanner

Someone Else

Tonino Benacquista

Treading Water

Claire Collison

Old People are a Problem

Emyr Humphreys

Catching the Light

Karen Powell

Triangulation

Phil Whitaker

Convenience Store Woman

Sayaka Murata