By Kelly Bridgewater
Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.
Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.
I have read a number of Catherine West's novels, so I knew West really digs down deep into the emotions of her characters and allows me, as the reader, to empathize with them. With her newest release Where Hope Begins, I felt the same way. I couldn't imagine the hurt Savannah has to endure as she struggles with her husband's cheating and the loss of a child. I have never lost a child, but I have lost a Daddy, so I understand how deep the hurt goes.
I really empathized with Savannah as the hurt kept being shoved in her face. I really enjoyed how realistic West made the children's hurt too. Kids of divorce, at any age, still feel betrayed and cheated. I know firsthand because my parents divorced after I left for college and no kids were left at home. This is becoming more and more common with the baby boomers. Divorce during the empty nest syndrome. The parents finally see each other because there is no kids to distract them, and they don't like what they have left to deal with. So this story is timely and important.
I wish there was more to Kevin's side of the story. I would really like to see, not just hear from his mouth, why he cheated. What drew him to the other women? West is good at diving into the character's emotions, so I think she could do a great job at discovering this.
The plot was wrapped differently than most stories where the cheating spouse isn't trying to justify his reasons. I really enjoyed seeing the story from Savannah's perspective and watching her keep busy to better herself and move on. I finished the story in a day and a half, so I really enjoyed it
Overall, Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is a timely, yet important story of a failed marriage and dealing with the loss of someone. Filled with an interesting cast of characters, I felt like I was enduring my sister's struggle and watching her cope. I can't wait to see what West comes up with next.
I received a complimentary copy of Where Hope Begins by Catherine West from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars