Quick review for a progressive read. If there’s something I’m learning from reading Francine Rivers’s books, her books always take me into the heart of another time and firmly through the mental, physical, and emotional journey’s of her characters. This was a mammoth of a book to get through, not so much for length as it was for the dramatic rollercoaster it takes you on.
This is the family focused story of a woman named Marta and her daughter Hildy. The first part of the story is told through Marta’s eyes as she grows up in Switzerland under an abusive father and loving, faithful mother. Marta’s a determined young woman, attempting to carve out a life where she’s subservient to no one. Her father forbid her to get a traditional education, forcing her to go to a special school for maids. She goes through various uses and abuses but ultimately thrives and uses her education to make her own life as she travels through Europe to do so. But pursuing her own life comes with various costs and hardships. Ultimately, Marta marries, has children, and ends up moving to live on a farm in California. The story shifts to her daughter Hildy, who struggles to have the courage to speak up and establish a life on her own terms compared to her brothers and sisters. Marta sees Hildy as weak and pushes Hildy much harder than her other children. In time, Hildy grows up during the course of two World Wars as she tries to carve out her own existence and faith.
“Her Mother’s Hope” was very well researched and blends a story of faith with historical fiction, romance, family drama, grief, and coming of age. I really enjoyed the journey overall, and thought the audiobook was well paced and narrated. Sometimes it was frustrating to see the lack of communication and misunderstandings between the characters, but I knew that was intentionally done. However, I should warn others that this story is incomplete and ends on a cliffhanger. It’s at least at a point where there’s a conclusive turn in events, returning from Hildy’s perspective to Marta at a crucial point in the story. I’m planning on reading the follow-up in this duology soon.
Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.