The Hope Mother

Christian - Fiction
322 Pages
Reviewed on 04/20/2015
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Author Biography

Judy Scognamillo is an active member of the Palm Springs Writers Guild. Much of her debut novel takes place in her home state of North Dakota and also in San Diego, California, where she resided for twenty-five years. She and her husband live in Rancho Mirage, California where she is currently working on a sequel to The Hope Mother.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

The Hope Mother by Judy Scognamillo is an unusual and unconventional story with a spiritual vibe. Pam realizes that life does not end with death. She finds herself in a place which borders Heaven after her death. There she meets Fara, her guide, who tells her that before she moves forward into Heaven, they need to view her earthly life completely. Here Pam is informed that she is a Hope Mother, a woman who has lost her baby before it was born. These babies are termed Angel Babies and are allowed to be born again to complete their earthly journey. The book gives an uplifting outlook on the afterlife and gives readers who have lost a loved one a sense of hope and comfort.

I enjoyed the book thoroughly. The plot is original and positive, and weaves hope through the minds of readers. The story has many dimensions and keeps readers engrossed until the very end. The characters are well sketched and the fight between good and evil also forms an integral part of the story. The narration is descriptive and detailed, and it's a book for those who believe in Heaven and the afterlife. The presence of Angels in the story is peaceful and comforting. The presence of God, Hope Mother, Angel Babies, our undying soul and the deceptiveness of the Devil are themes that have been handled well as the story progresses. The book is an excellent read and will fascinate even those readers who are not religious.

E. Johnson

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book., November 11, 2014
By E. Johnson - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Hope Mother (Kindle Edition)
Even though it was fiction it was a very believable story of good versus evil. The Hope Mother is a woman who has been pursued by the Devil almost her whole life but because of the people who loved her so much and the people she loved the Devil was unable to claim her for his own. She died in a tragic accident and was sent to Heaven to find her angel babies which were her babies that she lost before they were born. She had to claim these babies so their souls could return to earth and live out their lives. This story was so believable that there were times that even though I wanted to keep reading, I had to set it down because it brought tears to my eyes. I would recommend this to my friends and I am looking forward to the sequel. I was also excited to know that she was an author from a small town in North Dakota and she lived just down the road from us.

Lynne Spreen

Even Non-Believers Will Enjoy This Story
By Lynne Spreen on October 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a story of the afterlife, not a subject I would normally read - I'm an agnostic leaning toward atheism. Yet I enjoyed it very much. It's a great story, happening in Heaven but with well-done flashbacks to Earth, where another story unfolds simultaneously with the celestial one. In some books, the afterlife is kind of woo-woo/cheesy - a real turnoff, but in the Hope Mother, Heaven is very much like Earth, in that the inhabitants have failings and must struggle, too. The angels have distinct personalities and remind me of cops and firemen (and some are wickedly joyful over warfare to protect their own!) Happily, the Angel Gabriel is depicted as a woman, and there are strong female characters here. A priest is portrayed as heroic to the point of subjecting himself to torture and death to defend a person of another religion - reminding me of the best in us, rather than the modern-day failings of clergy we hear so much about. The concept of love as a defense against hardship and pain is invigorating.

There are surprising plot twists and revelations. I also enjoyed that Ms. Scognamillo's North Dakota upbringing snuck in at times, as with this sentence construction: "Do you want to come with?" That brought a chuckle - it's how my ND relatives speak, and I doubt the author did it on purpose. The Hope Mother is well-written; it's a fast-paced and enjoyable read. I recommend it.

G. Gullikson

Format: Paperback
“The Hope Mother” provides us with an imaginative tale of a woman’s life and death as she finds herself in a near-Heaven place, or “boundary area” of Heaven. She learns how unborn souls fit into the meaning of this place, and the question at hand seems to be what happens to those who are conceived and for some reason unborn? Without ever posing the question directly, or entering into any theological hypothesis as to the beginning and saving of a soul, the author answers with her Hope Mother quest, that is, to find in this near-Heaven area, her “Angel Babies” and to facilitate their start to an earthly life.
Scognamillo’s descriptions of characters and setting provide an aura of peacefulness that projects a welcome feeling of what Heaven might be like. God’s love permeates the story through Archangels, human characters, and even a dog hero. And there is a human love story that features a woman and a man facing the Devil’s most deceptive advances. At a time when pulpit orators find a never ending list of subjects to confront, they often avoid the very existence of hell and the Devil. The Hope Mother shows his persistence and never ending quest for our souls.
It is not for us to know or understand all the Heavenly hows and whys. Scognamillo fearlessly proceeds through her tale without bother as to most of that, and we as well need to enter into just a slice of imaginary thinking to make this book the great read that it is.


A Great Read and another's view of Heaven
By Riding on December 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
Thankfully I found out about this book " Hope Mother" on Facebook. Reading some of the reviews prompted me to buy it and I am so glad I did. I am amazed by the descriptiveness of the characters, places and events. The way the story unfolded made it almost impossible to put down. I am so impressed with the way author's imagination and insight gave this book such a captive read. The gathering of unborn children in heaven being cared for, the beauty of the places, the angels on assignment, those being escorted to heaven, the animals attended and the presence of God make me hope that this is what heaven is like. I really enjoyed reading this book. I am going to purchase another one for book sharing with a group I belong to. Thank you Judy Scognamillo for sharing your creative abilities with us.

Paula Familettion

5Fascinating Fiction
Bypaula familettion February 10, 2015
Format: Paperback
I am always facilitated by differing conceptions an afterlife and Judy Scognamillo's vision is no exception. I hope there is sequel because she left me wanting more.

J. D'Loss

ByJeanette H. D'Losson January 16, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is a great read. I am not religious, but I found the descriptions of heaven very rich and somehow comforting. Everyone can relate to the battle of good versus evil that is fought in this book. I thought the characters were well developed and interesting in their individual ways. I laughed, cried and smiled. You can't ask for much more than that out of a book.

Del Mar times Newspaper

Former Carmel Valley resident takes readers on after-life adventure in ‘Hope Mother’
By Kristina Houck9:31 a.m.Dec. 2, 2014⎙ Print

Jeanette Bonasoro

ByJeanette Bonasoroon February 21, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
We should all pay attention to the very last paragraph of this book and learn something we should act on.


4631464 Tara McGinnis rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Hope Mother
by Judy Scognamillo
Want to Read
The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

A young woman, Pam, dies unexpectantly and finds herself in purgatory-like pre-heaven, adjusting and dealing with the loss of her life as she knew it. Heaven is not what she imagined and with the help of her guide, Pam reviews her life on earth and discovers what her role in the after-life will be and what she must accomplish before being allowed to move on in her eternal existence. She is given the title of Hope Mother, a mother who lost an infant before they even took their first breath, and her mission is to search the realms of heaven for these Angel babies to facilitate their transition back to Earth. There is an evil force attempting to thwart her mission and claim Pam for the “dark side.” Pam seeks help from the feminine version of Michael the Archangel in order to overcome evil and fulfill her purpose.

This engaging and well-written first novel by Judy Scognamillo has a lot to offer readers of all ages. Don’t let the spiritual nature of the story prevent you from reading this. It is imaginative fiction and not preachy in the least, so that despite a reader’s personal religion or beliefs (or lack thereof,) he or she can find much to appreciate in this book.

The author has created two worlds, the Earth as we know it and the after-life in heaven, with two simultaneous story-lines. Heaven is not just a vacant space in the clouds. It is full of intriguing personalities/entities and the author develops these characters in a way that helps the reader explore the facets of the soul and morality. There are plenty of surprises as well. Whatever your thoughts are about heaven and the after-life, it is an interesting imaginary world for any writer to explore. I especially loved the feelings of peace and comfort that this story evokes, as well as the parts about pets and children being loved and tended to so compassionately in the after-life.

I will gladly read Scognamillo’s next book.