Francine Rivers: Book Review + Giveaway

Hello, my lovely readers!  I was surprised to find time for this month’s book review + giveaway, but I’m so glad that I did.  I’ve had this book on my nightstand for the last 3 weeks.  I was incredibly lazy one day and read the whole thing through without stopping, except once for a little nap {all that reading is tiring, you know}.  Considering all of the overtime nights that I’ve pulled, combined with the fact that I’ll be moving 8,000+ miles away in about 3 weeks, taking a day off didn’t seem like all that big of a deal.  The world kept spinning, and I was able to finish this lovely novel 🙂

Francine Rivers has been writing books for several years, and she knows what she’s doing.  Many of you have already found a favorite in “Redeeming Love”, the re-imagined story of the book of Hosea.  Rivers’ latest book strays a little from her primarily romantic genre to focus a bit more on the love and relationship that exists between mothers and daughters.  Considering the fact that Mother’s Day is just around the corner, this book seemed a fitting choice, wouldn’t you say?

Here’s the official synopsis of the book…

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Near the turn of the twentieth century, fiery Marta Schneider is torn between her father’s declaration that she’ll never be more than a servant and her mother’s encouragement to chase her dreams.  Determined to fulfill her mother’s hope, Marta leaves home for a better life.  Young and alone, she earns her way with a series of housekeeping and cooking jobs that bring her ever closer to her dream of owning an inn.

Heartbreaking news from home strengthens Marta’s resolve as she moves to England and eventually to Canada.  There, she meets handsome Niclas Waltert, a man just as committed as she to forging a better life in a new place.  But nothing has prepared her for the sacrifices she must make for marriage and motherhood as she travels first to the Canadian wilderness and finally to the dusty Central Valey of California to raise her family.

Marta’s hope is to give her children a better life, but experience has taught her that only the strong survive.  Her tough love is often misunderstood, especially by her oldest daughter, Hildemara Rose, who craves her mother’s acceptance.  Amid the drama of World War II, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own.  But unexpected and tragic events force mother and daughter to face their own shortcomings and the ever-widening chasm that threatens to separate them forever.

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The author does a good job of telling the story from the point of view of Marta, the mother, and Hildie, the daughter.  The book is long at 450 pages, but it’s an easy, entertaining read.  I found myself comparing the story of Marta and her harshness to stories that I’d heard about my mom’s grandmother.  I never met her, but I was told that she’d live a hard life – losing her husband early, surviving the Great Depression with young children.  I think that a lot of us have stories like that in our backgrounds.  Even if you don’t, most women can relate to having at least a few strained moments in their relationship with their mother {my own mother, as great as we get along now, could tell you some stories from my teenage years}!

I was surprised and pleased to find that Rivers based this book in part on her own mother and grandmother and the relationship that she observed between them.  Rivers discusses this at the end of the book, and it was interesting to read about.  It made me enjoy the book even more, even though I’d already finished it by that point.

I’d like to pass along this book to someone else, except once again I’m not willing to part with my copy 🙂  I’m planning to keep mine and offer up a new copy to anyone who’s interested in entering.  The rules are simple: you must be a follower, and you need to leave a comment telling me something that you admire about your mother or something that you’re looking forward to this summer.  Entries are open to anyone in the US or with an APO/FPO mailing address.  The giveaway winner will be announced Friday, April 30th, at whatever time I get around to posting {we’ll be in St. Thomas by that point}!  Good luck!

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8 comments

  1. Need A Nap2 says:

    You’re on my bloglines. I’m hoping we’ll move this summer (or sooner), we’re not very fond of our townhouse rental and would like to find a house to rent! 🙂

  2. Elle says:

    Oooh Fun! I am looking forward to finally getting everything packed up and moved to our new home in The Bay Area….

  3. USCEmily says:

    This looks like a great book, Jenny! I would love to read it.

    I admire my mother because she battles every day with rheumatoid arthritis that is in every single joint of her body. She rarely complains unless it is unbearable. She still teaches school and stands on her feet for a large portion of the day. I also admire my mother’s strong faith and the Christian example she has set for me through her involvement in her church.

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