Mar 26, 2010

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers (Review)

The first in an epic two-book saga by beloved author Francine Rivers, this sweeping story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over several generations. Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Her journey takes her through Europe and finally lands her with children and husband in tow in the central valley of California. Marta’s experiences convince her that only the strong survive. Hildie, Marta’s oldest daughter, has a heart to serve others, and her calling as a nurse gives her independence, if not the respect of her mother. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie marries and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life conspire against her vow. Each woman is forced to confront her faulty but well-meaning desire to help her daughter find her God-given place in the world.


Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books, and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid- 1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association’s top-selling titles and it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes – all bestsellers-- and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous awards including the Rita Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third Rita award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers’ of America Hall of Fame. Francine’s novels have been translated into over twenty different languages and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries including Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa.

Francine and her husband Rick live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their five grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Visit the author's website at


Her Mother's Hope is an incredible story of mothers, daughters, and sisters and how they interact with each other.  Four generations of one family struggle to support, challenge, love and protect each other.  Some are loving and patient, while others may seem cruel and heartless, but deep down they are only doing what they think is best for the women in their immediate family.  

One matriarchal mother in this story dominates almost every family member, often through guilt.  Another woman takes on the role of a servant, and always sacrifices everything for her parents and siblings, then her husband and children.  Sisters are treated differently in the same family, but for reasons maybe only the mother would understand. Some daughters may take on the role of martyr, thinking they are not worthy of respect and equality.

This book is the first in a two-book saga and I can't wait to read the sequel.  I love the characters in this book, and the wonderful lessons of faith and strength through war, illness, prejudice, rejection and unbelievable hardship.  The sacrifices made by these women for members of their families is an image that will stay with me for a very long time.

Although classified as historical fiction, this story has spoken deeply to my heart. I could see much of my own family relationships in these wonderful characters.  Through some tears and some serious soul searching while reading this book, I know that there are certain relationships in my own life that need to be dealt with.

Thank you, dear Francine Rivers, for an absolutely incredible book!  You are at the very top of my list of favourite authors!

Also thanks to Paula at Author Marketing Experts, Inc. for providing a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.

Title: Her Mother's Hope (Marta's Legacy)
Author: Francine Rivers
Genre: Fiction/Historical
ISBN: 978-1414318639
Publication Date: March 2010
Pages: 528

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.


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  3. I've actually struggled with Francine Rivers lately. I found that Her Mother’s Hope didn’t have very much hope at all. After writing my own review (which you can read at ) I went out and read about 50 other reviews, and 50 out of 50 loved this book. I guess there’s always one in the crowd who doesn’t fit in – and this time it’s me. :-(