Friday, June 1, 2012

Hope Springs

Book Description:  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. It isn’t long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened. And when Janelle proposes a Bible study a the local diner--and invites both African American and Caucasian women she has met--the group quickly forms a spiritual bond . . . and inadvertently adds to underlying tension in the community.

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:  This is a wonderful story with themes such as loving God, loving your neighbor, and forgiveness.  I had a hard time getting started on the story though, because I was trying to figure out who everyone was.  I think the author, Kim Cash Tate, introduced too many characters too soon in the book.  Once I got rolling, I was able to keep everyone straight for the most part.  I think that most of the characters had been introduced in other books by the author, so if I had read those stories first it probably wouldn't have been so bad.  The story itself can stand alone.  Mrs. Tate had some unexpected twists that I did not see coming, which made the story that much more interesting.  Overall, I enjoyed the book and would like to read the other books that she has written.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.   

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