Hope Was Here - Chapters 1 and 2 Summary & Analysis

Joan Bauer
This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Hope Was Here.
This section contains 801 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)

Chapters 1 and 2 Summary

Chapter 1

Hope Yancy was a teenager who lived with her aunt Addie. Hope was only a little over two pounds when she was born and the doctors didn't give her much "hope" of surviving. She made it but her mother, Deena, wasn't in the mindset to raise a child and gave her daughter to her older sister. Addie had always wanted a child but had three miscarriages and then her two-timing husband left her for a dental hygienist. Hope had been named "Tulip" by her mother. She had only seen her mother three times that she can remember—on her fifth, eighth and thirteenth birthdays. She hated her name and asked her mother why she named her Tulip. Deena told her that she remembered an actress in a movie running through a field of tulips. The actress seemed so happy—that's what she wanted her daughter to be. But Tulip wasn't happy with her name and Addie helped her legally change it when she was twelve to the name of her choice. She chose "Hope" because it's something that's good to have.

Hope and Addie had worked in restaurants in many different locations. When Hope was younger, she was a bus girl. But when she had the opportunity to move up to being a waitress, she took it. Addie was a cook and a good one but all the restaurants they worked at would usually close up. They worked together in Florida, New York, Missouri and Wisconsin. They moved a lot but Addie was always a constant in her life. Hope was happy for that.

Chapter 2

Hope doesn't know who her father is. Her mother claims she doesn't know either. But Hope doesn't completely believe her. She fantasizes that her father is paying large fees to private detectives to track her down. In case he does, she is ready. She has been keeping a scrapbook of all the places she's been. It's her history and she wants to keep it with her so she doesn't forget anything or anyone. If her father ever shows up, she can show him what her life has been like.

Hope never likes to leave for a new place. When Addie was packing up to move to Atlanta, Hope ran away and hid in her friend's house. But as time passed, Hope panicked and ran back home. Addie told her she wouldn't have left her. Hope really wanted to believe that.

Now they were heading for a small town in Wisconsin. The man who owned the diner where they were going to work had leukemia. The prospect of working with a dying man was not particularly appealing to her. As they drove up to the small town of Mulhoney, Wisconsin, population 5,492, Hope was disappointed. How could they be happy there after living and working in New York City? They were city people! But they accepted the positions and arrived at the diner which is called "Welcome Stairways." On the back of the menu they were sent, Hope read aloud that "welcome stairways" are double staircases that welcome visitors no matter which direction they come from.

Chapters 1 and 2 Analysis

Chapter 1

Hope is a teenager who had a very rough beginning—from her premature birth to a mother who abandoned her. But on the good side, she had a loving aunt who cared for her and cared for her. Their life together is not the typical life of a teenager. She works with her aunt in restaurants as a waitress and has lived a rather unusual, vagabond life for a young person. Although Hope is grateful that her aunt took her in, she knows she is missing out on the normal life of a teenager. She has attended six schools in five different states. Moving so much, she is not able to maintain friendships that are especially important to young people. She isn't complaining so far, but this type of life can have negative effects on a young person.

Chapter 2

Although Addie loves her niece and is devoted to her, their life has been very hard on Hope. She fantasizes about a father she never knew but who would one day find her. She doesn't believe that her mother doesn't know who her father is. Obviously, Hope doesn't want to think her mother was that promiscuous and wants to hold onto the hope that she could one day be reunited with her father. When she was younger, she had tough times adjusting to moving about so much, but now at sixteen, she has learned to cope and except that element of her life. But it still hurts. She tries to stop her tears when she opens a going away gift from a boy who was a close friend.

This section contains 801 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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