Have you ever agreed to a blind date but didn't know just who would show up? Agreed to take a chance and spend time with an unknown person? Well, I recently volunteered to read a book as part of the Blind Tour from Just Read Tours. I didn't know what book I would be reading but I trust Carrie Schmidt so I gladly joined the tour. Well, let me tell you, I got a winner! And I do mean this literally! On September 28, Where Hope Begins won the Carol Award for Contemporary Fiction that was given during the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference Awards Gala. After reading this book, I understand this decision and I am so happy that I accepted this "date"! Congratulations Catherine West and thank you Carrie Schmidt and JustRead Book Tours.
ABOUT THE BOOKIn the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.
When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.
But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward, or face an unknown future without him.
This book is filled with every emotion possible. Sadness and grief; hope and joy; the possibility of never again and the promise of forever more. I'm not sure why this is my first Catherine West book but it certainly won't be my last. She grabbed my attention with the first sentence 'My husband is leaving me' and she never let it go. Yes, there are some tough subjects in Where Hope Begins: a child's death, a mother's attempt at suicide, and a husband's extra-marital affair. The siblings of the young girl who died are also victims to the grief that engulfs this family and I sometimes wondered how this could possibly end well.
I have personally seen how the death of a child can affect a marriage and a family and the outcomes were totally different. One couple drifted apart as they grieved separately and their family unit didn't survive and the other couple drew strength from each other and their marriage grew even stronger! West credits God as giving her this story and I believe this is true. Where Hope Begins is a wonderful testament to the power of hope and love and the necessity of trusting God's plan for your life. You may also be convinced that angels are always among us and you will definitely need the tissues!
This is Christian fiction and even though adultery is suggested, it is never explicit. We're shown that life can get complicated and messy but reminded that forgiveness and grace are what makes us Christians.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from JustRead Tours but a positve review was not required.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine West is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband reside in Bermuda, and have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew, 2017 and Where Hope Begins, 2019), and a recipient of the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2019 Carol Award, for Where Hope Begins. Her latest novel, As the Light Fades, released September 2019.
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