I picked this book up, knowing that it would be an enjoyable read, since it was authored by the incredible writer, Francine Rivers. Once again, Rivers has woven a completely riveting tale; this time it is one that spans generations and half the globe! I must admit, I was a little daunted by both of those facts and the fact that "Her Mother's Hope" was nearly 500 pages long. However, I grew to appreciate that fact as I delved into the story, not wanting it to end!
Rivers begins the tale of Marta in Switzerland in 1901 and the rest of this book takes her throughout Europe, across the Atlantic and into Canada, and then finally to California, where she resides by the conclusion of "Her Mother's Hope", 50 years later. All of these places and scenarios provide the backdrop for the riveting tale of a mother and daughter's lifelong relationship.
However, one of the many aspects of the novel that makes it distinctive is the fact that halfway through this book, the protagonist is actually swapped from Marta to her daughter, Hildemara Rose. It is for this reason that the tale of this mother-daughter relationship is so incredibly realistic and moving. Since we witness the passage of time from these two very different viewpoints, we are afforded a unique perspective, one that makes it so heart-breaking as the reader, to know where both the mother and daughter are coming from, although they themselves do not understand it.
I do not want to spoil any of the book for anyone, but I must say one element of this story that shocked me, as its one you rarely come across in novels, is the fact that the hero at the beginning of the book becomes, over the course of the story, the villain, a character you almost hate and wish to do away with! I guess that only goes to show that Rivers does her job so well that you become emotionally invested in the characters. :)
I believe this is a nearly universal read, one that most people would enjoy, and yet it has the potential to be a life changing tale. As someone who has had a strained and painful relationship with her mother, I saw so much of myself and my life in this story, and I came away with some real insight and understanding of my own past and present. For this reason I thank Ms. Rivers for her dedicated work and recommend that all mothers and daughters pick up this book!
Francine Rivers is my favorite author. Her latest novel, Her Mother's Hope, was not a disappointment. I loved it, and I cannot wait until Her Daughter's Dream releases in September.
These books tell a beautiful generational family drama. Her Mother's Dream starts with Marta's story, whose difficult childhood sends her traveling to reach her dreams. Tragedy back home just pushes her harder, and eventually she ends up in Canada, where she starts her own family. The second half of the book is about Marta's firstborn daughter, Hildemara. She reminds Marta of her sister, and Marta determines to force some fire into her. Hildemara's dream is to become a nurse, and she pursues that dream, facing a couple of obstacles along the way.
The mother daughter relationships are the focus of this incredible story, spanning both World Wars. The historical details added depth to the story. The characters were well-developed and three-dimensional. I always understood their behavior and decisions, and I could see both sides to each situation. The family interactions were extremely believable and realistic. I came away re-examining my own relationship with my parents and how that influences what type of parent I am.
I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. If you haven't read it...you should. It is a wonderful novel that demonstrates the importance of communication within families. Honestly, I would recommend any book written by Francine Rivers.
In some ways, Her Mother's Hope was a very hard book to read; it often reminded me of Eve's Daughters by Lynn Austen. Marta had such a terrible childhood (mainly her father's dislike and cruelty to her, as well as her sister Elise's suicide) that it profoundly affected the choices she made later in life and had the potential to destroy all the relationships dearest to her. Marta made me terribly angry several times the way she treated her daughter Hildegard. At the same time, it was easy to see why she did what she did, even if I can't say I ever really liked her. Because Marta could see many of Elise's personality traits in Hildegard, she determined that her daughter would never end up like her sister. Since Marta blamed her own mother for "coddling" Elise, she did the exact opposite with Hildegard, instead often singling her out from her other siblings to "toughen" up. Hildegard was easier to like, although I got annoyed at her a few times, too. I found the ending realistic, but hopeful, and I'm going to be sure to read the next book, Her Daughter's Dream, so I can find out how everything turns out! Her Mother's Hope was an amazing, rather epic look at family relationships and how even experiences from our earliest childhood can color our decisions made as adults.