Bookworm Wednesday-Review of Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate

Hope Springs is a small town located in North Carolina. The type of town where everyone knows each other and has for generations. This story mainly focuses on two neighboring households and their extended families that have lived next door to each other for three generations. The current resident in the Sanders household is Grandma Geri. Her children have all grown up, left the nest, but most still visit often. Both families are very involved in the church and many family members are involved in ministry service in one form or other. When Grandma Geri is diagnosed with a devastating illness, the families and community rally and show their support.

This was a very hard book for me to read personally for many reasons. First, Grandma Geri is diagnosed with an illness that wiped out about 80% of my family. I could relate emotionally to what the family was going through, maybe a little too much, as it brought raw pain back to the surface for me. Even without my personal emotional baggage I would still highly suggest that you have a box of tissues handy. Not so much that there is a tear jerking moment but there are small moments where a tear escaped here, another tear there. My eyes leaked through almost the entire book.

The Sanders family is a huge, caring, tight-knit family. Again, more emotional baggage on my part as I missed having a large family. The family dynamics portrayed are amazing. The cousins who grew up together and tease about their little inside jokes one minute, yet are tender and compassionate to each other the next. I wanted to move in with Grandma Geri’s and adopt this family as my own.

The incredibly religious aspect of these characters was probably the hardest for me. I am so conflicted in my own faith that it is hard for me to understand how people can go through strife, pray about it, and be grateful for the learning experience. Maybe I’m not intelligent enough to learn from my experiences theologically speaking. About the only thing that I have learned is that life’s situations can be rough. We lose people, jobs, pets, sometimes friends. We can have faith that there is some cosmic reason why this loss is for the best. This is the struggle for me. I have never figured out how pain and misery is in my best interest.

As I had stated that this was a hard book for me to read, I also think it was important that I did so. While it reopened some old wounds, I also think it helped me grow some from the experience. It reopened my mind to the possibility of surviving strife with one’s faith in God still intact. Even if I’m still confused on how to go about it.