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Publisher's Summary

Twenty years ago, Allie Denty was the pretty one and her best friend Olivia Pelham was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable...until a vicious rumor about Olivia - a rumor too close to the truth - ended their friendship.

Now, on the eve of their 20th high-school reunion, Allie, a temp worker, finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, a cool and successful magazine beauty editor in New York, realizes she's lonely, and is finally ready to face her demons. Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises.

Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love's Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific." Hope in a Jar: we all need it.

©2009 Beth Harbison (P)2009 Macmillan

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • 11-10-2011

Very Light Read... But Just 'OK'

The book started with a bang and I must confess that was what immediately drew me into the title. To be honest however, after that, the book kinda fizzled... There were some very note-worthy sections in the book, sections that make you smile and laugh, sections that make you shake your head and others that make you simply leave you mildly surprised. The thing that takes away from the book however I have found is that it is rather predictable. After the first couple chapters one starts knowing what to expect throughout the rest of the title. Generally, it is an 'ok' book, with an 'ok' story-line and an 'above average' performance. Overall... the book is simply.... 'ok'.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JEAN
  • 03-06-2012

friends come and go but .....

I really liked this story. I loved the turns the story took several times. Was fast fun I had to sit in the car a few times to finish a chaper before I could stop. I like the ending and how lifes challanges did not always turn out happy and peaceful but like in real life the bumps hurt and the tides do turn. great addition glad I got it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rhoda
  • 12-01-2011

Fun read

Beth Harbison catches the dialogue, feelings, and life of women quite well. A fast, easy listen that kept my attention throughout.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Goldfish
  • 21-07-2009

Too light

I was looking for something light....unfortunately this story was too light in that it was completely predictable. You knew exactly what was going to happen, and the characters were unbelievable. Seriously, Ali is 38 and has been friends with Noah since middle school and has no clue he has feelings for her? The author should have stuck with the flashbacks where the characters felt more real and published as a YA book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jayme Smith
  • 31-05-2017

Love it!

Beth Harbison's books are fanatic! Can't wait to read or hear the next one!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip Matsler
  • 19-02-2017

takes me back to my growing up days

great story, so relatable to so much of my life. I'm always amazed how Beth Harbison can put so many feelings into words. Orlagh did a great job as always, too.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Frances
  • 29-02-2016

Slow and steady wins the race!

Starts off slower than a typical Beth Haribson book but if you can stick with it up until the middle, it's a great read and gives you all of the sarcasm and wit of a Haribson book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carinne Ayad
  • 19-10-2015

I love this one too.

I love love loved Hope in a Jar. I t was funny and witty, with a fun flair. I couldn't stop listening.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • emily
  • 21-10-2013

I loved it

If you could sum up Hope in a Jar in three words, what would they be?

best friends forever

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hope in a Jar?

the flashbacks were a really enjoyable touch as was the 80's ads

Which character – as performed by Orlagh Cassidy – was your favorite?

Allie was definitely bought alive by Orlagh Cassidy

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Piwi
  • 29-06-2013

An easy listen with great narrator!

It is a tiny bit interesting, not too much drama. Women making bigger deals out of things than they should. But I got through the whole thing, wanted to keep going and see where it went. A bit predictable with some moments of interest. Love Orlagh Cassidy, it's usually why I get her books. I guess I would say read it. Don't except any problems based on real issues...mainly misunderstanding and silly fears.