It's not surprising that everyone (well, almost everyone) lives happily ever after in Hope Was Here. With a storyline and characters as sweet and comforting as a slice of Addie's deep-dish apple pie, it would be wrong for the story to end any other way.
The people of Mulhoney pack the Gospel of Grace Evangelical Center for G.T.'s funeral. Hope is hurting badly from the loss, but as she stands by G.T.'s casket, it dawns on her that she "was the perfect daughter for him" and that "Everything in [her] life had prepared [her] for it" (182).
Business continues to boom at the diner and everyone who comes in shares a story about G.T. and how much he meant to them. Hope is blown away when she realizes how many people loved this man.
The ending circles back and echoes the book's opening: she's about to say goodbye to another place she loves, but this time it's for a good reason—she's headed off to college. She finds the perfect spot at the diner to leave her trademark signature, but this time the same three words, HOPE WAS HERE, look much different to her. It only takes a split-second for her to figure out why; she says, "This time, I was coming back. This was really home" (184). The small town that doesn't even exist on Hope's Replogle globe turns out to be the best place in the world for Hope.