I missed the first novel in this series (Hope Springs), but once I got the characters sorted out, this novel about the challenges and difficulties of "crossing the color line" gripped me with its truth and reality. Even well-meaning people find themselves caught in the currents of deep-seated racial prejudice and history that won't stay buried. The faith struggles inherent in the story are not pasted on, but get peeled and exposed, layer upon layer. The wonderful thing about the title is that in spite of a tragedy that rocks this southern town, HOPE indeed rises from the ashes that longtime divisions, both institutional and relational, can indeed begin the process of healing. And in spite of the seriousness of the "main theme," the story is also carried by healthy doses of everyday life, laughter, and relationships--from a big noisy family reunion to teenage angst to romantic triangles to matriarchs and patriarchs facing down the younger generation--and vice versa. Read this book! Kim Cash Tate is an author to watch.
As i sit here, thinking about the novel i just finished, i think of the timely message Kim brought us through this book. i know that the thoughts i had while reading will be unique to me because none of us think of a book quite the same way. Hope is something we all need, and this story shows that where there are people, there is hope. The one theme that is predominant is prejudice. Pre judging. i am a Canadian, from western Canada, and i have always thought that i wasn't prejudice. i couldn't understand why the Americans (and i have friends and relatives from there) had such feelings toward the people they enslaved so long. Even those from the northern states seemed to have strong opinions. i actually still can not understand, though i know it is very much alive.This is the premise of this book but, it made me think of my own prejudices, or if i had any. Why do i have them? Mostly, i think it is because i don't know or understand. i will be honest, i had a prejudice toward those with tattoos until i read a novel where the young girl has a tattoo to remind her she is God's child. Now, when i see tattoos, i wonder what significance they have to the wearer. How does my prejudice come out? i must trust this question to God, and ask Him to show me.
i received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program for the purpose of writing an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions stated are my own.
Objectionable:Rape, suicide, drinking mentioned, smoking mentioned, threatening someone with a gun, racial issues and prejudices.Cheating on someone (while dating them) and talk of an illegitimate child and the scandal surrounding it in the past.
Thoughts:This is such touching story that really expresses the need to see past the outside and the color of someones skin and truly love them. Like Jesus would. This sweet story set in a little NC town called Hope Springs where two families (black and white) are trying to bring two churches together in unity. A black church and a white church, but neither of the churches are all that excited. Along the way old secrets and prejudices are uncovered in the little town. Stephanie has just moved to Hope Springs to stay there while her husband goes back and forth to Haiti. She makes friends with an outcast, but really sweet girl, Samara. And the rest of the book is what happens resulting from these events. I think racism is wrong and this was a great book that showed how often the lines between skin colors is tightly drawn. This book shows a close family, a hurt girl who becomes even more hurt, anger and prejudices that shouldn't exists in churches and the hope of truly loving. Loving like Jesus would. This was a very good book, I really loved it. The characters were vibrant and reading this book made me happy and sad at the same time. Sad to read about things, that though they might be fictional, are still happening elsewhere in similar situations. This book isn't just a romance, although there are some sweet relationships going on...Godly ones too! This book has a meaning and it's deep too. I took a lot away from this when I read it and I really enjoy it. I would recommend to YA+ girls and women who are looking for enjoyable but substantial book to read.
Characters:Wow, this book had some great characters! I really liked Charley (Charlotte) and Stephanie, who were the main characters. They both were going through changes and trials and I felt like I could relate very well. I loved Samara. She was such a sweet character that you just fall in love with!! After the big spoiler (that I am not going to reveal) I was so mad, sad and pretty emotional. The author really did a wonderful job writing this book, it has a lot of power and a lot of thought changing put into it. During the time after the big spoiler you felt so angry and sad or at least I did. The author did a great job with Samara's character. The great Bible study group is another highlight int this book, one I really love. A bunch of ladies got together and had a Bible study where women of all ages and races came and discussed living the way God wants and how they could support each other. It was great. There was a bond and feel of family with many of the characters. They all melded into one big family, which kinda made sense as there was a big reunion going on for a good part of this book :P