Reviewed by Amanda S.

In Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers lays out the first two generations of a family that emigrated from Europe in the late 1800’s. Marta comes from a family that was abusive, strict, and hard-working. She vows to live a different life than the one she’s been dealt and sets off on her own at a very young age. Her mother kept telling her to “fly,” and so fly she did…all the way to Canada.

In Canada, Marta sets up her boardinghouse and meets her husband, who then moves her to America, but not without a fight. Marta doesn’t like the idea of doing what her husband tells her to do and so she fights it with all she has. Following the move, Marta gives birth to their second child, Hildemara Rose. Weak and ill from birth, Hildemara is a special child. But Marta refuses to coddle Hildie and is harder on her than on any of her other children. Rather than take these criticisms and turn them into a positive, Hildie internalizes the hurt and feels unwanted and unloved by her mother.

As Hildemara grows, she is determined to not allow her mother to bring her down and to live her life the way she wants to live it: serving others. Hildie becomes a nurse, marries, and starts a family of her own…only to become ill, forcing her to ask her mother for help. Will Marta come and help Hildemara or will she only push Hildie away like she’s always done?

Francine Rivers weaves another beautiful tale for us that comes partially from her own family history. We see the pain each character goes through, their joys, their triumphs, and their sorrows. In many ways we can see ourselves in the different characters. Have we been harder on one child than on the others, especially if it’s for their own good? Or have we coddled one child over another because they were weaker or needed more help? Have we, like Marta, been so adamant not to relive our childhood that we pushed ourselves to the opposite extreme, and became almost hateful in our dealings with our spouse or children?

Her Mother’s Hope ends rather abruptly and with a huge cliffhanger, much like Voice In The Wind (from The Mark of the Lion series by Rivers). The main character is on the brink of death, and we have to wait until the next book to find out what happens….which is months in coming! While not liking the cliffhangers in Francine River’s books, I will never turn down the opportunity to read one of her works! The second book, Her Daughter’s Dream, comes out in the fall of 2010.

For more information, please visit Francine Rivers’ website.

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband and two boys. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

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