Zondervan sent me a copy of both Belonging and Betrayal for the purpose of review. While I haven't read anything from Hatcher before these books, I can now say I am a fan! Her stories in this series are a simple weaving of the lives of three siblings trying to find their way after being raised apart from each other. God's story of redemption, second chances, forgiveness, and all things working together for the good are clear in Hatcher's writing. I'll be looking to read more from her in the new year.
Robin Lee Hatcher is a name I've seen around Christian fiction for a while but had never taken the opportunity to try out. I'm glad I finally took the chance with her "Where the Heart Lives" series.
In the beginning of Belonging, we are introduced to Hugh, Felicia, and Diana Brennan, siblings living in a Chicago tenement in the late 1800s. After the death of their mother, they come under the care of Dr. Cray's Asylum for Little Wanderers and are each sent to different families out west to begin new lives. They reach adulthood without seeing each other again.
Belonging is Felicia's story as she leaves a home in Wyoming where she knew no real love and begins her life in Idaho as a teacher. Betrayal begins with Hugh traveling from Chicago (where he returned in his teen years) to reunite with Felicia in Idaho. Both their lives take unexpected turns as they find much more than they dared hope for.
Both stories were a delight to read. I was drawn into the characters' lives immediately and felt that I was right there with them as they found their places in new surroundings. These are comfortable, feel-good stories with very real people who struggle through day-to-day challenges and draw their strength and wisdom from their relationships with God.
My only negative comment is this: Beloved, Diana's story is not available yet. Now I have to impatiently wait for the conclusion!
Thanks to Zondervan for providing this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
I was due for a good read by this author. After reading quite a few more secular stories this fall, I was just ready for a really good faith based story. And Robin Lee Hatcher always delivers that for me, this book included. She always takes real characters and puts them into real situations which tests their faith and brings their flaws to the surface and then takes them through it with a biblical perspective. I really like that. This story dealt with both main characters dealing with their own deep betrayals put upon them by close family members. One character had been a Christian since childhood and the other was very new to faith. But each struggled with the forgiveness, deep pain, shame and trust issues that betrayal brings. When circumstances brought them together, they had to deal with those issues and allow God to heal their hearts and break down the walls that each had built and learn how to not only trust each other but to trust God with their lives as well as they had to pull together in order for Julia to not lose her ranch, which is all she had. This is a love story but really that was secondary to me as I read it, with their stories of forgiveness, trust and allowing God to heal them and allowing God's work in their lives as more the story that took the forefront. Some might feel the story is too predictable, but for me, that also is secondary to the fact that the story was one in which the characters walked out their faith. Sometimes I like a good comfort read. I really enjoyed it and found it as a breath of fresh air to finish off my reading for 2012.
Thanks to Booksneeze for sending me the book free of charge for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is the second book in this series about the Brennan family. We are meeting up with the brother of the family, Hugh, and he is in the process of trying to locate his sisters.
When his horse pulls up lame, he makes a stop at Julia Grace's ranch. She is leery of strangers, but lets him stay. Both Julia and Hugh have many demons in their past, but they also share a great love of the Lord.
Can these two forge a relationship with all that is stacked against them, they both need to find forgiveness for those who have harmed them. Will Julia be able to keep her ranch? Will Hugh find his sisters?
Enjoy this look at early America, late 1880's Wyoming. Follow along and enjoy this story and a peek at our beautiful Country.
I received this book from the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.
Julia Grace has been through a lot in her short years, suffering circumstances and loss that would dampen the spirit of a weaker woman. Julia has been through hardship to come out on the other side victorious and empowered. All she needs is her Wyoming ranch, and she'll be fine. But when her dead husband's half-brother threatens even that, Julia must find a way to save it.
Hugh Brennan has strong reasons not to trust anyone. His life has been lonely and filled with betrayal, leading him to a life of solitude. But something about Julia makes him long for family and companionship.
I'm a sucker for a story of healing the wounded, and that's just what Betrayal is. Both main characters come from a past of loss and betrayal, and must work through those past disappointments and circumstances to trust each other, and find God's love in the midst of the pain. I have to admit that I liked the first book of the series (Belonging), more than this one, but it was still enjoyable. The conflict in the story left me wanting a bit more, it seemed too "easy" at times, considering the pain and betrayal both characters had in their past. However, it was a sweet story, and a satisfying read.
Although this is the second book of a series, it is a stand-alone novel, and you can read it without reading the first one.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan so that I could read it and offer up my opinion. I was not required or encouraged to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.