About the Book
In Heaven, there is a gated community for those who end their lives by choice. This is a complete surprise to Hope, who ends her life one morning on the banks of the Fox River in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Hope has always dealt with deep sadness. From childhood on, she visited therapists, doctors, alternative medicine practitioners, Reiki artists, etc., to no avail. In Heaven, God reassures her that he knows what caused the sadness, but he won’t reveal it yet.
All community residents are required to attend weekly group therapy. Hope’s first group is led by Virginia Woolf. Several of the book’s chapters tell the stories of other members of this group.
Filled with many moments of striking humor, uplifting realizations, and difficult challenges, Hope finds her way in Heaven. She meets many people like herself, who help her restore her forgotten artistic talent and passion, and God himself, who is amazingly human in the most inhuman of ways. Hope finds understanding and forgiveness, and most importantly, friends.
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Print length: 342 pages
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I never knew God slept. I certainly never expected him to wear pajamas or have rumpled hair. But if he looked like the God I always imagined, the God with long white hair and a beard and a mustache and a serious, serious face, I never would have been able to rest my head on his shoulder, like I was able to do now.
I was very glad he wore blue flannel pajamas.
“You knew you couldn’t expect them to be happy, right, Hope? You knew that,” he said, and wrapped his arm around me. “It was part of your choice to end your life.”
I turned my face into his chest and wept.
It had been my choice. I didn’t expect them to be happy.
But I never thought I would witness their sadness.
For the first time, I regretted Heaven. I wished for the black void that I thought death might be, that day that I swallowed each pill with a gulp of wine.
“It’ll be okay, Hope,” God said. Not a booming voice from a burning bush or a dark cloud. A soft voice that soothed me as I cried.
Praise for Hope Always Rises
“Giorgio's Hope Always Rises leaves the reader with the one thing it promises: hope. While tackling an emotional subject, suicide, Giorgio doesn't shy away from the pain that brings her characters to the brink, but rather dives into the fragility, confusion, and motivations that accompany the human spirit on that difficult journey. Rich with empathy, humor, and imagination, Giorgio paints a beautiful picture of the afterlife that is a balm for anyone who has ever lost someone.”
--Marisa Dondlinger, author of Open and Gray Lines
"Hope Always Rises is a beautiful, heartfelt, and surprisingly funny take on the normally uncomfortable topic of suicide. Kathie Giorgio manages to balance Hope’s newfound peace and the harsh reality of the pain she left behind, so that the reader is happy to be pulled into the ups and downs with her.
– Nora Murray, author of Kingdom Come
"In Hope Always Rises, Giorgio’s detailed, surprising afterlife is populated with happiness, heartbreak, and small mercies in loving, ever-unfolding measure. Hope’s story, along with those of others in her section of Heaven, offers an intriguing variation on the theme of salvation, this one with a fallible God who enjoys a sangria.
– Angela Bier, author of The Accidental Archivist
About Author Kathie Giorgio
Kathie Giorgio is the author of seven novels, two story collections, an essay collection, and four poetry collections. Her latest novel, Hope Always Rises, will be released on February 28, 2023. She’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction and poetry and awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, the Silver Pen Award for Literary Excellence, the Pencraft Award for Literary Excellence, and the Eric Hoffer Award In Fiction. Her poem “Light” won runner-up in the 2021 Rosebud Magazine Poetry Prize. In a recent column, Jim Higgins, the books editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, listed Giorgio as one of the top 21 Wisconsin writers of the 21st century. Kathie is also the director and founder of AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop LLC, an international creative writing studio.