Saturday, September 11, 2010

Francine Rivers's Her Daughter's Dream ~ Reviewed

Her Daughter's Dream
By Francine Rivers
Published by Tyndale
ISBN 978-1-4143-3409-7


In this dramatic conclusion to Her Mother's Hope, Carolyn Arundel struggles to navigate her shifting family landscape and the changing times. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame.

College offers Carolyn the chance to dins herself, but family tragedy shatters hew newfound independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of Sam Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly seeks help from her family to rebuild a life for her and her daughter, May Flower Dawn.

Just like Carolyn, May Flower Dawn develops a closer bond with her grandmother, Hildie, than with her mother, causing yet another rift between generations. But as Dawn struggles to avoid the mistake of those who went before her, she vows that somehow she will ne a bridge between the women in her family rather than a wall that separates them forever,


Hauntingly beautiful, Her Daughter's Dream explores the bonds of love between four generations of mothers and daughters. Francine Rivers holds nothing back in often fragile, always emotional, and sometimes explosive relationships between Marta, Hildemara, Carolyn, and Dawn. Decisions are based on past hurts, and emotional scars separate mother and daughter. Peeling back the emotional layers is painful and often impossible. They love one another, yet fearing rejection renders them unable to say the words so badly needed.

Like a beautiful melody, Her Daughter's Dream will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation. A must have for your library.

Ane Mulligan
Editor, Novel Journey
One of Writers Digest's 101 Top Websites for Writers

Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary ARC for review.

Bonus Review:

I have been blessed to receive a review copy of the sequel to Her Mother’s Hope. This is a very personal story for Francine Rivers. She says, “I wanted to explore what caused the rift between my grandma and my mom during the last years of my grandmother's life. Was it a simple misunderstanding or something deeper that had grown over the years? Many of the events of this story were inspired by my family history that I researched and events I read about in my mother’s journals or experienced in my own life. You may have guessed that Carolyn is my alter ego…but only some of my life is interwoven through hers…”

Her Daughters Dream covers a time span starting at 1951 and is brought to 2010. The author describes events in the history of the world, how this family and others responded to Kennedy’s assassination, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, Hippies/Free Love, September 11th and others.

The first part of this story is told through Hildemara Rose’s point of view. She’s very sick and needs to ask the help of a person who’s hurt her deeply - her mother, Oma Marta.

Francine Rivers quickly changes to Hildemara's daughter Carolyn’s point of view for the majority of the book. Carolyn is a very studious child and is eager to please her parents. Her brother, Charlie, is the polar opposite of her, but they love each other dearly. Carolyn’s life is forever changed by the relationship developed between Oma Marta and Hildemara and herself, when Hildie was sick.

Carolyn does all the right things in school, learns how to blend in and gets amazing grades. But, things change in high school with Charlie now attending the same school. He becomes protective of her and Carolyn has to learn new rules and how to melt into this new crowd.

1968 hits and Carolyn is at Berkley University gathering signatures to help protest the war in Vietnam. Carolyn’s world was changing quickly. Nothing made sense. She didn’t fit in anywhere. She didn’t know what to believe in anymore. Where was God in all this war and killing?

“God? They’d all been saying God didn’t care or God was dead. When had faith ever been enough?”

Not in Carolyn’s life anyway. Carolyn’s parents, Hildemara Rose and Trip’s world wasn’t the same either- they were both in pursuit of the American dream. They gave their best to the job, there was little time left for family and friends.

Then one day Carolyn hears from Jesus and he’s told her what to do, “She just didn’t think she could do it.”
Her grandma Oma said, “Nothing is easy Carolyn. Life isn’t easy. We do the best we can with what God gives us.”

“But I’ve made a complete mess of everything Oma.”

“It’s not about what you’ve done. It’s about what you’re going to do now...You lived through it. You’re a survivor. The past doesn’t have any power over you anymore…it only has the power you give it.”

Francine Rivers does an incredible job of allowing the reader to get in the skin of each of her characters. I was quickly drawn into their situation and could feel their pain. It was amazing to see the events of our world affect one family and the people around them.

My heart broke for the women in this story and how misunderstandings and the fear of confrontation caused them to be in so much pain when in each others presence. Francine Rivers’ story helped me look at my family and how we weathered events in history and how it shaped and molded us as a family unit and as a country. It showed me that God has plans for us even in the middle of the storm; He wants us to cling to Him and have faith.

I loved Carolyn’s favorite prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done.” This is easier prayed than done, but so true.

A Daughters Dream is a tremendously moving story of a families struggle to overcome misunderstandings of the past, trust God to help them forgive one another, heal the hurts between them and have faith to carry them through the unknown events in the future. Francine Rivers is a master wordsmith bringing God, faith and family together in such an incredibly moving way. This story is personal for Francine and she describes how the characters and the story parallel her personal life and struggles in the back of the book. Fascinating! Get your tissues ready as you read. I found myself weeping near the end as I read of this family’s sad times and joy. I also saw God make a tremendous difference in their lives. This book is a keeper and one this reader will not soon forget. Either will you!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

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