Ethan Joella’s deeply moving, life-affirming novel about residents in a small Connecticut town facing everyday fears and desires—a lost love, a stalled career, a diagnosis—pulls at the heartstrings and provides hope.
In the small city of Wharton, Connecticut, lives are beginning to unravel. A husband betrays his wife. A son struggles with addiction. A widow misses her late spouse. At the heart of these interlinking stories is one couple: Freddie and Greg Tyler.
Greg has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a brutal form of cancer. He intends to handle this the way he has faced everything else: through grit and determination. But can Greg successfully overcome his illness? How will Freddie and their daughter cope if he doesn’t? How do the other residents of Wharton learn to live with loss, and find happiness again?
An emotionally powerful debut that immerses the reader into a community of friends, family, and neighbors, A Little Hope celebrates the importance of small moments of connection and the ways that love and forgiveness can help us survive even the most difficult of life’s challenges.
About the Author
Ethan Joella teaches English and psychology at the University of Delaware and specializes in community writing workshops. His work has appeared in River Teeth, The Cimarron Review, The MacGuffin, Delaware Beach Life, and Third Wednesday. He lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with his wife and two daughters.
“This soft-spoken debut is a surprising page-turner, as your hopes for the cast of beleaguered small-town character build and burn bright. Its calm wisdom about bearing the toughest losses—sometimes lightened by unexpected gifts—makes this novel a comforting companion for difficult times.” —People
“Poignant and quietly powerful…Joella is particularly deft at deconstructing quiet moments in small-town life and amplifying their significance…[A Little Hope] impressively balances a cast of thoroughly realized personalities grappling with momentous events…these characters transform over time, make amends and see one another more honestly and fully. Their evolution is inspiring — and more than a tad hopeful.” —New York Times Book Review
"A well-connected community of characters who feel like people you know or people you could be all strike a familiar and fully human chord... Joella’s poetic side shines in his moving novel... From beginning to end, A Little Hope finds the grace of the everyday and homes in on the surprises (both heavy and light) that each day can hold." —BookPage
"Joella has an eye and ear for suburban pathos, highlighting tragedy and growth in equal parts. . . . Joella pays particular attention to the aftershocks of loss in the residents' lives but he doesn't dwell on the maudlin. . . . readers of Meg Wolitzer will gravitate to this immersive, illuminating novel." —Booklist
“The residents of a small Connecticut city navigate grief and hope in Joella’s tender debut, a series of vignettes marked by a sense of connection and community…Throughout, the overlapping story lines keep readers turning the pages.” —Publishers Weekly
"Joella captures the rhythms of life in Wharton and is skilled at identifying both shifts in the weather and events that mark the passage of time in moments so subtle as to be almost undetectable. Readers who enjoy fiction that reflects the struggles and joys of their daily lives will find much that will resonate here." —Kirkus
"A Little Hope is a sweet and tender take on small town heartbreak, where everybody hurts, and everybody finds some saving comfort, whether in the world or in one another." —Stewart O’Nan, author of The Night Country and Songs for the Missing
"Ethan Joella has written a powerful and compelling novel about people whose lives are on the cusp of collapse in this richly textured story of hope and love. A Little Hope is an absorbing, propulsive, and elegantly written debut. I absolutely loved it." —Brandon Hobson, National Book Award finalist and author ofThe Removed
"Ethan Joella's emotional and riveting debut tells the story of the Tylers at the moment their lives change forever. It's all here—community, family and friendship, how we love, grieve, let go and hold on when fate takes its course. The author has crafted a story of ordinary moments that connect and eventually transform us in extraordinary ways. Forgiveness and redemption are the soul of this novel, but it's the love you will remember long after you put it down." —Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia and The Shoemaker's Wife
"A Little Hope is a quietly powerful portrait of small-town life, about how the private worries and dreams of a set of characters intersect, told with wisdom and tenderness." —Mary Beth Keane, author ofAsk Again, Yes
"I can't promise you won't cry, but I can promise deft, minimalist prose, flesh-and-blood characters you'll want to hug, and a love story for the ages. With A Little Hope, Ethan Joella establishes himself as an unforgettable new voice." —Diana Spechler, author of Who by Fire and Skinny
"Wonderfully observed and immensely touching, A Little Hope is a beautiful portrait of the poignant moments in life that change us, move us, and connect us, written in deft and powerful prose. A true gem of a novel that I won’t soon forget." —Ashley Audrain, author of The Push