Saturday, October 16, 2010

If you only read one book this year ...

Oh. My. Goodness. This book is unbelievable. A few friends and I were talking about the best books/authors at lunch the other day. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers won hands down! (One friend even admitted to never having read a novel until she read Redeeming Love. She wondered if anything else would ever measure up ... probably not!) Well ... Her Mother's Hope comes in at a very close second for me!

Her Mother's Hope is part one of Marta's Leagcy. Francine tackles the topic of the mother-daughter relationship ... complicated at best! Francine follows Marta through her life and allows her relationship with her family, but particularly her mother, to shape how she responds (and rebels!) to the situations she encounters. As Marta grows up, leaves home, marries, and has children, we see how her relationship with her mom and everything that has happened to her until now, shapes her relationship with her own daughter Hildemara Rose. And the story of complicated relationships continues ...

The book held my attention from the first page until the last. I found myself breezing through 30-40 pages in one sitting. Rivers has an incredible ability to evoke emotions. Thirty pages in, I found myself so angry I was grinding my teeth. And it continued from there - hope, despair, anger, frustration, laughter, disappointment, so many emotions! Her descriptive writing style made me feel like I was part of the story. I could envision the setting, characters, and truly feel what they were feeling.

Best of all, though, the story caused me to take a close look at my own life. Marta's struggles throughout her life and her mother's reminder to find things to be grateful for reminded me that I need to have an attitude of gratitude rather than pessimism (which Marta seemed to thrive on). Hildie's childlike faith encouraged me to have simple trust in the Lord. Just two small examples, but there were many more as well!

If you only read one book this year, this is it! (And the sequel, of course!)

5 stars (out of 5)

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