Jul 8, 2012

Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate

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.

Hope Springs is a story of a multitude of characters from a small town in North Carolina, and I found it quite overwhelming at times. Two young pastors, friends from childhood, are now pastoring churches in the same neighbourhood in Hope Springs. This novel includes stories of the two pastors and their large extended families, their friends, and church members, many of whom seem to know both pastors.

When reading this book, I felt like it was a continual collection of dialogue between characters, but I found it hard to relate to/connect with any particular person. I wished there had been some deeper character development instead of so much dialogue, which often seemed a bit disjointed.

As I read this ebook on my Kindle, I was not able to fully utilize the family tree that was included at the front of the book. Maybe that would have helped, as I am still not sure how all the families fit together even after completing the book.

The overall theme was very good ... it was all about letting go, and letting God be in control. It was about trusting God, even when circumstances were hard to understand.

I previously read Cherished, also written by Kim Tate, and absolutely loved it. However, this one just didn't work for me.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Book Sneeze, in exchange for my honest review.

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