“Wait! That can’t be the end!”
It was 10 p.m., the kids were in bed and my husband was finishing up his online class for the night. Had any of those factors been different, I might have actually screamed those words out loud instead of keeping them captive in my head when I read the last sentence of “Her Mother’s Hope” by Francine Rivers.
Good thing for me, and anyone else who reads it, “Her Mother’s Hope” is only half the story.
And what a story it is!
In it, we meet Marta when she’s a young girl living in Switzerland, torn between her family (an ailing mother, a timid sister, an abusive father she’d rather forget) and her dreams (learning languages, owning an inn, living her own life). Rivers covers a lot of ground in this tale, sometimes skipping years of life or acknowledging the passage of time with only a paragraph.
To call “Her Mother’s Hope” a page-turner doesn’t do it justice. Rivers has a way of writing captivating, memorable stories, and this one fits that bill. I’ve read almost every published work she’s written and her stories have stuck with me. At times, I feel like she must know my struggles because her stories mirror issues in my life. In the author notes, she reveals that her writing stems from personal struggles of faith. I think that’s why it’s so good.
Although it takes place in the early to mid-20th century, its themes — love, sacrifice, expectations, roles in marriage, injustice, bitterness, forgiveness, service, hatred, misunderstanding — are relevant to life today. I sometimes forgot the story wasn’t set in contemporary times.
Reading “Her Mother’s Hope” left me wanting more. Thankfully, Rivers wrote more! The saga concludes with “Her Daughter’s Dream.” I, for one, will be picking up the sequel as soon as I can.
Check out Rivers’ Web site to read an excerpt of the book. It will whet your appetite for this delicious read.
And if you’re a book lover with opinions about what you read, consider reading and blogging for the Tyndale Summer Reading Program for a chance to earn free books and win prizes. This one, and the sequel, are both on the list, as is “Freedom’s Stand” by Jeanette Windle, which I previously reviewed. Happy summer reading!