Friday, March 18, 2011

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

Sometimes it's hard for me to read stories. I had a long conversation with a friend about subject matter and we came to the conclusion that struggling with certain topics is okay. She couldn't read stories dealing with abuse as they hit too close to home.

I have a hard time reading stories dealing with strained parent/child relationships. If you knew my background, you would totally understand. Because of this, I've picked this book up and attempted to read it multiple times. I had even made a committment to review the sequel, but still couldn't get past the first few chapters.

Until now.

My difficulty with the story is a strong testimony of the powerful writing. Francine Rivers captivates and holds you hostage until the final page is turned. I believe this duo of novels is most powerful because it, in a sense, is Francine's story.

Marta Schneider is a fighter. Because she's had to be. At fifteen, she's fought against an abusive father with low expectations of her, a lack of education thanks to her dad, and a nature that tends to be more abrasive than nurturing.

But enough is enough, and when she finally has the chance to spread her wings and to prove herself, she's gone. Moving from her native Switzerland to live ultimately in Canada, Marta works hard to achieve her dream of independence and proud ownership of her own inn.

Marriage wasn't in her plans, but it was in God's plan for Marta. Following her husband out into the frontier of Canada to farm isn't what she wanted, and her struggles will resonate in your soul as she works to adapt to God's plan and not her own.

Children come, and this is where I had the most difficulty. Marta's relationship to her oldest daughter was painful...I kept wanting to reach into the book and shake some sense into her. To whisper to Hildie that Momma did love her, she just didn't have a conventional way of showing it.

Within the epic saga of family is a lesson we can all take to heart...communication is key to healthy relationships. If only Marta could have talked about her life and her emotions more openly...if only Hildie could have communicated with her mother about the hurt she kept inside...

You'll be captivated by the sweeping story that spans multiple decades. And you'll be blessed with the second volume of this story as well, which will be up next for review.

For now, I'm giving "Her Mother's Hope" five out of five bookmarks with a key as a charm...the key of communication. For those who are estranged from a parent, reach out once again in love. You just don't know how effective your efforts are.

Happy Reading!


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