This book came out in early 2010, and will be followed by the second book in the series – Her Daughter’s Dream – on September 14, 2010, thank goodness! When I got to the end of this book, I wished the sequel were already available. It’s quite the cliff hanger. It sure left me hanging!
Francine Rivers is my very favorite fiction author. The first book that she wrote after becoming a Christian, Redeeming Love, is still the best book I’ve ever read, except the Bible. If anyone ever tells you that fiction doesn’t affect a reader’s life and is a waste of time, tell them to read Redeeming Love. It affected me and my view of our loving, forgiving God, and I know it has affected others too. Several of Francine’s books have a deep, biblical meaning that will encourage and uplift her readers. When I read her books, I get the strong feeling that Francine is one whose writing is closely guided by the Holy Spirit.
Her Mother’s Hope, from page one, jumps right into the life of the main character, Marta. We’re allowed a view into Marta’s heart, which explains who she is and how she became that person. Marta’s early family life sculpted her into who she became as an adult. It gave her the drive she needed to survive, gave her the smarts to do things right, and ultimately dictated how she raised her children and treated her husband.
The story that comes out of it is about relationships. It’s about how two people can relate to each other, without ever really saying what’s on their heart. This process forces one to assume what the other is thinking. In the relationships in this book, this communicating without really communicating was simply destructive.
I very much enjoyed reading Her Mother’s Hope. It was almost excruciating as a reader, knowing what was driving Marta’s bad behavior. It’s an odd thing when motivations are good, but the behavior that comes from them is anything but good and downright hurtful. After reading this book, I can see why so many family relationships fall apart in our world. One unstated feeling or incident can create misunderstandings that may never be resolved.
The first part of this book is told through Marta’s eyes, and the second part is told through her daughter, Hildemara’s eyes. When I reached the second part of the book and realized that we were going to change viewpoints, I was a little disappointed, thinking I was going to lose track of Marta. But I didn’t need to be disappointed. Hildemara’s point of view was just as good as her mother’s. And everything Hildemara saw her mother doing that she couldn’t understand is understood by the reader. The reader has insight into what drives Marta to treat her daughter in ways that she doesn’t deserve.
I feel that this story is a study on family relationships. There are many aspects in the characters of this book that can resonate with just about any family. When there are buried feelings, unseen motives, and misunderstood behaviors or messages, it will create unnecessary confusion, hurt feelings, anger, and bitterness. All of these things are present in Her Mother’s Hope, and it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that any of it is overcome.
This first book in the series is the build up for the second book. Her Mother’s Hope delivers the problems that plague generations of Marta’s family. In the second book, Her Daughter’s Dream, we will see more generations experience the hurt of their ancestors, and maybe, someone finally will break the cycle.
I highly recommend Her Mother’s Hope. It is another example of Francine River’s insightful writing, which actually stemmed from her own life and family.
Back cover description:
The first in an epic two-book saga by beloved author Francine Rivers, this sweeping story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over several generations. Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Her journey takes her through Europe and finally lands her with children and husband in tow in the central valley of California. Marta’s experiences convince her that only the strong survive. Hildie, Marta’s oldest daughter, has a heart to serve others, and her calling as a nurse gives her independence, if not the respect of her mother. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie marries and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter never to doubt her love-but the challenges of life conspire against her vow. Each woman is forced to confront her faulty but well-meaning desire to help her daughter find her God-given place in the world.