This is the third novel in a series by Tate. If you have not read at least one of the books in this series, you may be confused by the characters and the story line. I've read one but it was so long ago, I'd forgotten most of it. Unfortunately, Tate does not provide any catch up review to get readers up to speed if they've not read the others.
This novel centers on broken dreams and God working humility into people's lives. Several of the characters who come back to Hope Springs for a funeral (and other family events) have a history of relationships with one another. As the novel progresses, more inter-relationships are revealed and the story line gets very complex.
One major issue dealt with in the novel is the notoriety that comes with being a successful conference speaker. I was very disappointed in how speakers at a successful women's conference were almost worshiped. I hope that's not how it really is. The lesson in humility comes when an aspiring speaker is told she is no longer needed after only one conference. She eventually learns how God is molding her through the experience and that was very realistic.
There are two churches in Hope Springs, one white and one black. Much of the novel revolves around families in the churches who know each other and have been friends for decades. Issues touched upon in this aspect of the novel include the possibility of the two churches worshiping together. Another is how families reacted when a white fellow got a black girl pregnant a generation ago.
I have a few issues with this book. I had difficulty remembering who was white and who was black. There are lots of people, lots of names, and I had to keep reminding myself who was who. Tate has not added much descriptive material (such as blue eyes, or so, something that would again remind the reader she was talking about a white person).
Some of the relationships bothered me. The white fellow who had gotten the black girl pregnant goes on to be come a preacher, hiding his past. I didn't like that at all. There was another relationship where a fellow is renewing his relationship with a girl he was attracted to as a teen. But his divorce is not even final yet, and that bothered me.
I certainly have mixed feelings about this novel. Tate is African American and her writing is aimed at a southern African American audience, I think. This Pacific Northwest white woman may be reading from such a different perspective that I had difficulty enjoying the novel.
Kim Cash Tate has written three previous novels and a memoir. Formerly a practicing attorney, she is the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries. She and her husband have two children.
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Nelson, 336 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.