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.
I don’t know that this is a book in a series as much as there are other titles that focus on other characters that show up in this book.
Since I got this as an e-book, I’ll address that first. At the very beginning, there is a family tree. It’s not possible to adjust the settings so images get enlarged, and, as with other titles, this was one I couldn’t see well enough to do me any good because I didn’t have a magnifying glass handy. In addition, books with these kinds of helpers are generally best as hard copies because it’s much easier, in my opinion, to flip back and forth in a hard copy.
I found the number of story lines and characters to be too many. I had an awful time keeping up with who was who, and who was black and who was white. Race and relations between the two were a primary theme in this title. The issue of race relations was done tactfully and presented well.
I really do think this would have been better had the number of characters been decreased. There were just too many story lines going on at the same time for my personal taste.
It was a fast read and relatively engaging. Because of the level of character confusion, I’m going to have to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. At the end of this book, there was the first chapter of a previous story. I will say that I am not interested in reading it because I’ve already read this book. There are other series I’ve read where I really do feel compelled to go back and read earlier titles to help me have a more complete picture, but this isn’t one of them.
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