Sunday, April 18, 2010

Francine Rivers's Her Mother's Hope ~ Reviewed

By Francine Rivers
Published by Tyndale House
ISBN# 978-141-43-186-3-9
450 pages

Back Cover:

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. Marta wants Hildie, her oldest 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.


I’ve read and have been deeply moved by Francine Rivers’ books, so I anxiously awaited my review copy of this epic story. Francine does an amazing job of creating complex characters which instantly grab at your heart strings.

The reader first meets Marta Schnieder as a young girl doing her best to cope with a task master father. She loves to learn and has great dreams of speaking many languages, going to college and maybe even owning a business. Marta's dream crashes when her father demands she work several jobs to make money for the family. Marta vows she will never be just a servant girl. She would prove her father’s image of her wrong.

Her mother comforts Marta saying, “Marta, listen to me…It doesn’t matter what your father plans, nor what his motives might be. God will prevail. God will use anything to His good purpose if you love and trust Him.”

Marta says, “I know what I want in life, and I’m going after it. I’m not going to let things happen to me. I’m going to make things happen.”

Not only is Marta feisty, but she has a good eye for business and will fight for what is right. I was amazed at how Marta embraced modern conveniences as they were available. The first big leap was indoor plumping. What a treat for her and her family.

Since I’ve grown up having all these new gadgets I found it quite interesting to read about people discovering them for the first time. It was fascinating to see how it changed family dynamics and the way people lived life. I was intrigued by history with all its changes and how people treated one another during each phase.

I enjoyed the use of personal letters written between the characters. It was very effective in getting to know the heart of each character; it also made the story very personal. You’ll be as interested as I am to see how this family survives the war in the sequel, which is due out Fall of 2010.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator


Marta is driven by ambition and guilt. Hilde is the antithesis of her mother. Neither
knows how to communicate their heart. As powerful as Redeeming Love, Her Mother's
Hope will give every woman, who has been a mother or a daughter, hope for mending
the rifts in their relationship, no matter how deep the divide, how devastating the
mistakes, love has the power to heal. Novel Journey and I give Her Mother's Hope our
highest recommendation. It's a 5 star read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan,
editor, Novel Journey


As a fan of author Francine Rivers best selling novel Redeeming Love I was excited to learn that she was coming out with a new long book. I mean five hundred pages long. It is not often that you can find good epic novels these days and I was eager for this first book in a two book series. In reading Her Mother's Hope I was not disappointed. Very thought provoking it makes me consider my own actions in raising my daughter as well as to look back on experiences of my own childhood and memories of my mother while I was younger. Mis-communication is a powerful thing that often does not get resolved and on the off chance that things can be put to right opportunities are invaluable.

The note from the author at the end of this book tells you that this book was a journey of her own in an attempt to understand a misunderstanding between her mother and grandmother. It is fascinating to see history intertwined into the pages of fiction and bring the characters to life. Even though this is her family story brought to view, it is easy to see bits and pieces of other lives in the characters. I find this book to be very educational and eye opening. You never seem to realize how when you try so hard to do one thing you might be accomplishing another.

Full of emotions all over the spectrum Her Mother's Hope is a book that you will want to make time for as it will be hard to put down. I recommend the story, I look forward to sharing it with my mother and I am eager for the second book in the two-book series "Her Daughter's Dream".

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

1 comment: said...

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. :-(