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Jul 9, 2012

Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate

Where family bonds are truth and faith is strong..

Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 06/12/2012
Paperback 336 pages
Review copy provided by the publisher for free via LitFuse Publicity
Burton Book Review Rating: 3.5 stars

In a small 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, a place where there's not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season.

Janelle 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.

Becca 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.

And Stephanie 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, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches. God's plan for them in Hope Springs-is bigger than they ever imagined.

Hope Springs is a contemporary story of family and the bonds that are created. There are several female characters here, and most of them were of African American descent which was an interesting change for me. I don't remember ever specifically reading a contemporary novel which featured ethnicity as it is presented here. I really enjoyed the story of how these women intereacted and especially the enviable bond of this great big extended family. The women - mostly cousins - reunite in Hope Springs to help take care of the aging family matriarch, Grandma Geri. Old loves are explored, and the characters each have their own flaws along with their developing journeys of faith which are skillfully expressed throughout the novel.

One of the aspects of the novel is the community and the two dominant churches in Hope Springs. There are two different beloved pastors for each church, and one is black and the other white. The two pastors are good friends, and they make strides within the community to bring the town together and to not focus on the color of skin of their neighbors.

With several different storylines which follow along the many different characters, there seems to be a lot going on. Yet the author seamlessly blends two cultures, as well as the themes of romance and faith which brings us an invigorating story that grabs hold and doesn't let go. Those who can't get enough of this tremendous family have the opportunity to revisit some of the characters with Kim Cash Tate's novel Faithful. The way this story ended, it seems there could be a lot more written and I wouldn't mind reading a new installment.

The blog tour is at the end of the road, but you may visit the other reviews:
Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a free copy to participate in the blog tour. This did not affect my opinions of the book stated here.