Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Book Tour ~ "Hope Springs"
"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.
The story takes on two generations and two churches in a small town. It revolves mainly around Grandma Geri Sanders and her family and the family of fellow neighbor and pastor of one of the churches, Pastor Jim. The families are gathering in Hope Springs to attend the funeral of Pastor Jim who died suddenly. While there Grandma Geri faces a devasting health crisis and the lives of her loved ones are changed as they rally around to help her. This book, for me, took on way too many characters and way too many storylines. I lost the thread of the story several times as my mind tried to sort out who was who and which family they belonged with and which church they attended. While I had read the author's other two books I was still thrown for a loop as characters from those showed up in this book as well with no reminder backgrouds. I had to pause to remember what their personalities and stories were from the other books. While I thought she dealt with the issue of race and attitudes and relations between a white church and a black church in a gracious way the significance of that line of the story was a little drowned out for me by all the characters I had to keep track of. There is a family tree in the beginning of the book but I'm not one to constantly have to refer to it. I did like the themes of faith, forgiveness, doing what is right, unity and servanthood that are woven throughout the storylines.
Thanks to BookSneeze for providing the book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
To purchase the book you can go here and here.