Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers: Book Review

9 Responses to “Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers: Book Review”

  1. Renee says:

    Well written review, Tracy. Although I liked the book better than you did, I do agree with several of your points. I guess knowing that this story was based on a real person in Rivers’ family made me connect more. For some reason, I really related to the mother and daughter characters in the book. My own daughter is very unlikely to stand up for herself and, as a mother, it’s really hard not to push her to be someone she isn’t because of the fear of how she may be hurt by people in the future. As a teacher, I’ve had many a student who could never seem to win a parent’s approval. I also have some hard female relatives who raised their children on only tough love. I guess I was more emotionally connected to the book because of my own experiences. I don’t think this book even compares to Redeeming Love or The Mark of the Lion series, but I did enjoy it. I’ve had Her Daughter’s Dream for weeks and, like you, haven’t touched it. I do plan to get to it after the holidays. I look forward to reading your review of it.
    Renee recently posted..Fall Into Reading 2010 Wrap-up

  2. Kristen says:

    Thanks for reading my review of the same book. I think what I liked about it was that it was semi-autobiographical. The characters are based on Rivers’ own family history which is where I can see her not wanting to change the details. I also just love reading her style of writing. I can envision the places and people so easily. I think of it more as each woman doing the best she can for her family and hoping for more for the next generation, which is very true of the generations that she was writing about. I just ordered the next book (Her Daughter’s Dream) from Amazon and look forward to reading it over the break.
    Kristen recently posted..A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith

  3. Kimberly says:


    Thank you for the comment on my review of Her Mother’s Hope. I completely agree with your review as well. Though I still enjoyed the book very much, I found the second book to be quite redeeming of the first. Her Mother’s Hope really does set the tone for the second book and helps you to understand just how much of a divide needs to be crossed when it finally comes to Hildermara’s daughter Carolyn and her own daughter May Flower Dawn. Then once I saw the WHOLE picture, I was able to understand how in life we have generations of issues to deal with that can weigh us down. Oftentimes we blame our own mother for things she does or lacks, not knowing why she is the way she is. These books together helped me to see more clearly into my own family and have a deeper empathy & understanding.

    Check out my review for Her Daughter’s Dream and hopefully that will inspire you to pick it up this holdiday season!!

  4. Christy says:


    Thanks for stopping by my blog to read my review of Her Mother’s Hope. Somehow, I was able to see the hope through all of the bad because it seemed that, deep down, Marta really did want the very best for Hildie, just like Marta’s mother wanted for her. Now, the way they showed that hope was sometimes distorted, but I still saw it there.

    I would encourage you to read the next book because it is just as good as the first one, IMO. There are a lot of similarities to the first book as far as the style and the strained relationship between Marta and Hildie, so you may struggle a little with the opening. The last 100 pages or so are what really made Her Daughter’s Dream a real winner in my eyes.

    Merry Christmas!
    Christy recently posted..Book Review- Seek Me With All Your Heart by Beth Wiseman

  5. I saw things more like Christy did here in the comments section.

    Cally me crazy, but I saw a lot of hope in this two book series. I have worked with many, many families just like the family in this book. I really loved the whole example of how the author showed that negative patterns were passed down from one generation to the next, though done with seemingly good intentions. So many families are like that. The pattern continues for generations, and all it takes one person to break the destructive pattern of relating. Having worked with abused children for over two decades, I saw a lot of this type of parenting. So many families operate out of fear and apply learned behavior that they experienced at the hand of their parents. And even though they hated the way they were treated, they end up doing the very same thing…sometimes more severely, and sometimes less, but it’s still the same behavior. I guess I saw a lot of this dysfunction because I’m a social worker. I loved how this two book series showed that the very thing that her mother hoped for her daughter in the first book actually came to pass, but in a very negative fashion. Yes, she created a strong daughter, but one with so many hurts and issues as a result of that treatment that she passed the trait on to her child, and then when she had a sickly one, she did what her mother had done to her, which was to act a certain way hoping it would make the child into a fighter and not someone who would just give up on life. The mothers each had good intentions, but they were terrible at expressing it and operated out of fear as opposed to love. I enjoyed both books because this was portrayed so well and so realistically in them. I think a lot of women from dysfunctional families will read these books and hopefully see their own destructive patterns and break them before they pass them on to the next generation. I am into deep psychology, though, and always have been. Many people have messed up lives. I like analyzing the whys and dissecting the reasons for how they got to be so destructive, then offer some hope to the family by showing that the destructive pattern can be disrupted, and that it doesn’t have to continue on. I’ve seen this many many times with young girls who were molested. Their mothers were always molested and their mother’s mothers were molested. Well, someone needs to realize that there is a pattern, and to deal with the causes as to why the cycle of abuse continues. Then it can be broken. If it’s broken then future children can be protected. That is always exciting for me to see…when negative patterns are finally broken in families. And while people coming to Jesus always heals the soul, oftentimes people still operate their lives based on old destructive patterns. So just getting saved doesn’t stop the cycle unless there is some intervention, or insight, or something to change that. That is the beauty of Francine writing these books. She offered hope through her own family’s story to show that patterns can be broken and that healing can occur. That was why I loved this series. But like I said, call me crazy…

  6. Barbara H. says:

    Thanks for stopping by my review. The second book brings the story full circle back to hope, and Marta realizes some of the mistakes she made and tries to rectify them. I thought the relationship between Marta and Hilda quite poignant — I have know people who care about each other and yet can’t connect in a way that shows it. Marta is haunted by the thought that Hildie might end up like her sister, and so she tries to “toughen” her up — yet her efforts are misunderstood and misinterpreted, and therein is the basis for their crossed signals with each other. As I said, it all comes full circle to a satisfying end — though in a way I was sad it ended as it did, but I don’t want to give it away. The fact that it was based on a situation in Francine Rivers’ own family lent it a realism, I thought.
    Barbara H. recently posted..Merry Christmas!

  7. Cathy Davis says:

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my review.

    You know why there are so many books out there for all sorts of people? Because we don’t all agree on what we like! I thank you again for stopping by my blog and for the honest review on the books you’ve read :0)!
    Cathy Davis recently posted..Inspired Design

  8. Janet S says:

    Hi Tracy,
    I just happened to find your website when I googled Francine River’s book ‘A Mother’s Hope’ – more out of personal interest than anything else. I have read many River’s books and enjoyed them all – The Sin Eater being my all time favourite. So it was with great expectation that I picked up this new novel from the library.
    Well, I am about half through it and just about ready to give up and take it back to it’s home on the library shelf.
    I can’t understand what it is that I don’t like or what has changed since her other books but I’ve found it very choppy – bits of this and that, very little emotional input but rather like a series of fairly unimpressive journal entries.
    I thought maybe I was the only person out there who hasn’t enjoyed this book – so it was a relief to read your very gracious comments – and to find I’m not alone.
    I’m still not sure if it’s the change of writing style or matter that I’m struggling with – all those little sentences prevent any ‘flow’ to the story – I just don’t feel it it well written at all.
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts – maybe I’ll give it another few days before I decide whether to return it to it’s library home!

  9. Bridget says:

    Hi Tracy,
    I agree this book is quite bleak but I think you should read the sequal. The series is about growing faith, self-awareness relationship with God. The two books are written as one story. To read only the first leaves the charaters incomplete.
    I connected with Francines’ characters because I can relate to the hard times, the poor decisions made and reasoning behind them.

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