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!