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(Review) Her Mother's Hope, Marta's Legacy Series, Book One by Francine Rivers

Publisher and Publication Date: Tyndale House Publishers. 2010.
Genre: Fiction.
Pages: 498.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Excellent.

The Kindle ebook from Amazon is $2.99.

Her Mothers Hope is book one in a two part set titled Marta's Legacy. 
Marta Schneider lives with her parents, a sister, Elise, and a brother, Hermann. They live in Steffisburg, Switzerland. When the book begins the time period is 1901. Marta is age 12. Marta's father owns a tailor shop. He is a harsh, abusive father. Her mother is a seamstress. Marta is an excellent student. She is self-motivated and ambitious. She has dreams and aspirations. Her father demands she quit school and work.  At each stage of work duties she learns valuable skills. These early years are stepping stones that lay a foundation for life.  
Hildemara Rose is the eldest daughter of Marta. In the story, she is called Hildie. Hildie's personality is the opposite of Marta. Hildie is soft-spoken and kind-hearted. She is a prayer warrior at a young age. Hildie has a dream, and strives hard to pursue it against her mother's direction.
The book begins with Marta's voice, and midway it moves to Hildie's voice, at the end of the story Marta is the narrator again.

At times, I was uncomfortable reading the story. My father was a harsh, abusive man. In his later years, he was a sweet-heart and we had a different relationship than the early years.
I find it amazing when abuse is passed down through generations and the abusers do not see the pattern. Other things can also be passed down, like temperament, and how a person handles stress, sadness, fear, and insecurities.
Marta writes letters to a friend, she pours out her heart acknowledging wrong actions. These letters remind me of journaling. She writes on paper what she cannot express verbally.
Through Marta and Hildie's lives I see several points:
  • Learning to deal with difficult people (this is a life long lesson.)
  • Hardship produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character. 
  • Their personalities gave a polarity of aspects for the story. 
  • At times, the two women sparred. It was like watching a tennis match. However, most of the time Marta's abuse was just absorbed by Hildie. 
  • History is the background and shared through the lives of the characters. For example: immigration to America from Europe, farming in the early 20th century, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. 
Marta is a difficult person to like. I do not respect her person because of the abuse. However, she is a book character and I am the reader. It is hard to not be swept up in the turmoil of the verbal and physical tirades in the story. 
What did I learn from this story? All people are broken and in need of God's redeeming grace. I know from experience that I am (we all are) given opportunities to extend grace to hard to deal with people. It is absolutely not my favorite thing to do, and I am not standing in line waiting on these "golden egg" opportunities. I cannot extend grace, and further love people as Christ has commanded we love, without the help of the Holy Spirit.

But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don't hold back your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks you and from someone who takes your things, don't ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that? And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36. She Reads Truth, Christian Standard Bible.

Scripture link courtesy of Bible Gateway.