Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wings of Hope by Hillary E. Peak

Wings of Hope by Hillary E. Peak
Published By: Create Space
Release Date: December 9, 2011
Format: Paperback - 226 pages / Kindle - 278 KB
ISBN: 146631219X
Genre: Women's Literature / Contemporary Fiction

About The Author:

Hillary E. Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world ans is still somewhat shocked that it didn't occur. Now, her goal is to retire from practicing law and write novels that people love. She is currently a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.

BUY THE BOOK: Wings of Hope

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Saturday, May 11, 2012, in association with Virtual Book Tour Cafe, author Hillary E. Peak participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.

Book Description:

The bond of a father and daughter is special. The letter said he was dying, that's all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father. When Jules' father asks her to come stay with him because he's terminally ill, she goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel, or saved the life of a Black Panther. 

Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life through his conversations with his daughter. Little does she know that by getting to her father, she will find herself. While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father's last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams. Her journey teaches her that death and "the goodbye" is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.

Book Excerpt: 

"Jules, were you trying to beat your Dad in a friendly game of poker?" Jack teased.

"You know," Dad looked at me, "Jack only invited me to his poker game once. He never let me come again." He was grinning slyly.

"Right, we wanted a card shark to play with. You know," he turned to me again, "your Dad took home two grand the one night we let him play with us?"

"Told you then, it was beginner's luck."

"Hardly. Bill Patterson told me that you killed some guy in a plane over a card game."

Dad hooted and nearly doubled over. "Did you think that was true?"

"Well, no," Jack responded glumly, but I could tell he might have believed it.

"I do know what he's talking about. When Jules was about four, just before her mother and I divorced, we were on a plane coming to New York. We'd flown from Lubbock to Dallas. The weather was terrible - an ice storm if I remember correctly. The plane from Dallas to New York had been boarded, but we were sitting on the tarmac. Hours went by - literally. After three or four hours, they started serving free booze, no food, just booze. The plane got blitzed. Those people were drunker than anyone I've ever seen, truly.

I'll never forget; Jules was starving. My ex was begging the stewardess for some food, crackers, anything. Jules was crying and crying. Eventually, she fell asleep. Her mother and I were exhausted and angry - we were furious they won't give us anything for our child to eat, wouldn't let us off the plane and we felt terrible that our four year old daughter had just cried herself to sleep hungry.

There was no end in sight, so I pulled out the deck of cards I used to entertain Jules. The ex and I started to play gin rummy. Usually, she wouldn't play with me, but there was nothing else to do.

A guy in the row in front of us starts getting really rowdy. He was laughing, spilling alcohol everywhere. I got up; I was on the aisle. I can remember touching his shoulder, 'Excuse me, can you keep it down, my little girl just fell asleep.'

'What's your problem buddy?' He slurred all his words and talked at the top of his voice. He reeked of alcohol and perspiration.

'My child is tired and hungry, she's finally asleep. I'm asking you, keep it down so that you won't wake her.'

'S'not my problem. What the hell do I care if she wakes up?'

That did it. I grabbed the guy by his necktie, shoved him up into the ceiling of the plane, knocking him out and tossed him into a seat about three rows back. My ex was so stunned, she jumped and all the cards went flying into the air, it looked like it was snowing because she had the full deck to shuffle.

But I'll tell you, the plane was silent after that - for two hours until we took off. Also, the stewardess came and brought food for Jules. Everyone apologized in hushed tones. It was great."

My Book Review:

Wings of Hope is beautifully written story that will pull at your heart strings. A terminally ill father writes to his daughter and requests that she come home and stay with him through his final days. The father and daughter go on a journey of self-discovery that binds them together through the power of love, hope, life lessons, dreams followed, choices made, and that even death could be a heartbreakingly beautiful life experience.

The author weaves a beautiful story told in the first person narrative by the daughter, Jules. It is a story that captivates the reader and brings them along on Jules and Sol's journey. This father-daughter journey of self-discovery is interwoven with wonderful stories from Sol's past, a dream trip to Switzerland and Paris, and life lessons from a father to his daughter to follow her dreams and never settle for something that is safe, to just live life.
Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote about hope, which then leads into the next part of their journey. The attention to detail and thoughtful dialogue is incredibly powerful and makes the story that much more compelling. The loving relationship between Jules and Sol is clearly felt throughout the story, it is such an inspiring relationship, one could only hope to have that kind of relationship between a parent and child. A valuable lesson learned is that the bonds of love remain even after death.

Wings of Hope is a tenderly written story that will touch your heart. For anyone who has lost a loved one, this is a wonderful book that you will be able to relate to, and it will embrace you as you remember your own loved one.



  1. Thank you so much for having me and for the beautiful review. It means so much to me that my novel resonates with my readers!

    Hillary Peak

  2. Hillary, that was a beautiful story, it made me think about my Mom and all the memories that we shared when she was alive. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. :)

  3. Wonderful review. Thank you for hosting Hillary :)

    1. Thank you BK for the opportunity to read, review and host Hillary's virtual book tour event for Wings of Hope. :)