Sharing my love of reading and books through book reviews. Grab a cup of coffee and a good book!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hope Springs

About This Book
In a small Southern community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go.

Hope Springs, North Carolina, is the epitome of small town life—a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where there’s not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season.

Janelle Evans hasn’t gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay.

Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she’s longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she’s been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women’s conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father’s church in Hope Springs. Will small town living affect her big ministry dreams?

And Stephanie London has the ideal life—married to a doctor in St. Louis with absolutely nothing she has to do. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels strangely compelled to do the same. It’s a decision that will forever change her.

As these women come together, facing disappointments both public and private, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God's plan for them in Hope Springs—and for Hope Springs itself—is bigger than they ever imagined.

My Review
Well, once again I have a new author to love.  Kathy Cash Tate has it all in this book - Faith, friendship, family, romance - even race relations in the modern South.  This book will make you laugh, cry and will make you want your Faith to be stronger and your family ties to be stronger.  The book starts with family returning home for a family reunion.  Relationships begin to be repaired and re-woven.

There are a lot of characters in the book but they are very distinguishable - each different and each memorable and you will empathize with each in some way.  The author has the very unique capability to weave all of the characters together seamlessly - you don't feel as if something is missing.  Each character is developed without drawing away from the overall story or drawing away from the other characters.  The younger women - Janelle, Stephanie, Becca and Libby are the main characters who are dealing with changes and regrets in their lives.  The other characters are necessary to tell the story and reach the climax.  In addition, the flow of the book was well written - no disconnects - with each chapter moving along easily from the previous chapter.

The inclusion of race relations was an integral part of the story and, while it wasn't subtle, it was not the overall conflicting theme.  Mrs. Cash demonstrated a very true picture of most racial relations in the south.  It is not nearly as bad as the media and some people make it out to be.  But lines are still drawn by previous and older generations - lines that shouldn't be there.  Remember - there is no color in Heaven :-)

The element of Faith in the book serves just the right touch as well.  The two pastors of the two churches, Todd and Travis, complete the story.  There are small reference to immorality (infidelity & pre-marital relations) but it is not derogatory - although you see the characters related to the immorality work their way through their regrets, feelings and how to move towards redemption.  There is no foul language in the book as well - something I absolutely loved!  Thank you Mrs. Cash!

I definitely give this novel five out of five stars and I can't wait to read more of Kim Cash Tate's novels.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from THomas Nelson Publishing for the purpose of an independent review.  I was not required to post a positive review, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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