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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Hope Is a Bright Star by Faith Fuller Wilcox, facing the loss of a child is a prospect that would frighten any parent to their core. When Faith’s teenage daughter Elizabeth is diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in the summer of 2000, her whole world came crashing down, bringing her to the brink of despair and helplessness. Follow Faith’s personal journey through her daughter's courageous battle, the tireless medical procedures, and the ultimate reality that Elizabeth would soon lose her fight for life. As Faith and her eldest daughter Olivia begin to pick up the pieces of their lives with an overwhelming sense of grief, they discover that Elizabeth’s legacy of kindness and courage will be the cornerstone to their own healing. As Faith and Olivia find solace in their family and friends, they begin to heal and rebuild their fractured lives. This memoir is a powerful reminder that there is no stronger bond than that of a mother’s love.
Hope Is a Bright Star by Faith Fuller Wilcox is such a beautifully written memoir that captures the power and devotion of a mother's love perfectly. The strength of character shown by Elizabeth brought me to tears throughout. Her courage and fortitude for a teenager battling an illness with just a 10% survival rate were inspirational. Elizabeth was not only fighting her own battle but also giving comfort to others who needed support. This was shown so powerfully when she set aside her fears and reached out to other young cancer patients at the hospital. Faith’s continuous resolve was also amazing, her tireless battle to face every day with optimism, strength, and positivity. There were many scenes that were heartbreaking to read, such as Elizabeth telling her mother that she would never be a bride. This statement by Elizabeth shortly before her tragic passing, however, hit me like a thunderbolt to the heart: “Mommy, I don’t mind that I’m leaving now. That may be very hard for you to hear, but I’ve tried so hard for one year. I’m not scared, it feels like I’m going on a trip.” I do feel this memoir is much more than one woman’s journey of healing. Faith encapsulates the strength of humanity, the real essence of a life well-lived, and the power of the human mind to overcome adversity and rise stronger, enlightened, and aware of your real purpose on earth. Elizabeth and Faith’s story is going to help others find the strength to find light when everything seems engulfed in darkness. This is a highly recommended read.