Monday, April 26, 2010
About the book:
The first in an epic two-book saga by beloved author Francine Rivers, this sweeping story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over several generations. Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Her journey takes her through Europe and finally lands her with children and husband in tow in the central valley of California. Marta’s experiences convince her that only the strong survive. Hildie, Marta’s oldest daughter, has a heart to serve others, and her calling as a nurse gives her independence, if not the respect of her mother. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie marries and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life conspire against her vow. Each woman is forced to confront her faulty but well-meaning desire to help her daughter find her God-given place in the world.
I've been waiting for years to read a new release by Francine Rivers and this book went beyond my expectations. It left me breathless. The thing I love so much about Francine's storytelling is that her characters are so realistic and three dimensional that you can't help but care about them even when they are stubborn and difficult and make bad decisions.
Her Mother's Hope is a story of joy and heartache, of lessons learned as well as regrets that can't be changed, but most of all it's a novel of faith and the legacy that is passed on to children. It's so cool how the characters in this story experienced faith journeys in different ways. Some had no faith at all and some were angry with God. Others remain faithful and ministered to an entire community by offering love to them through acts of grace and service. I got choked up so many times I lost count. It started with the teacher overhearing Hildie telling her sister they needed to pray for her because she was hurting. I'd say my eyes leaked tears five or six times, at least. And all for different reasons.
The author really knows how to get you to feel for her characters. I read the last four hundred pages straight through in one day. I was 100% invested in the characters' fictional lives. I cheered for them and grieved with them. This is a powerful story that has it's heart-tugging moments that are as unforgettable as the beautiful romances within the pages. I loved this book and can't wait for the next one in the series!
Though it was a bit long for a novel (over 500 pages) it didn't drag at all and in my opinion it was the perfect length because I really got to know the characters over the course of the four generations that transpired. That is a very effective technique in helping me to better understand a family's dysfunction then just showing everything in the present day and talking about the past. Now I'm just itching for more. One year seems awfully far away!
Her Mother's Hope was published by Tyndale and released in March 2010.
* A copy of this book was provided by Tyndale publishers for this blogger to review.