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Where Hope Begins ~ Review

Where Hope Begins
By Catherine West

Savannah Barrington's world has just come apart - her husband Kevin is leaving her after 20 years of marriage. Worse is the toll this situation is having on their children Adam and Zoe. But Kevin's betrayal wasn't the first sign of the unraveling rather it was just the latest and final straw. For 10 years Savannah and Kevin had been drifting apart each suffering in their own way from a tragedy that they could not move past.

But the time has come when they are faced with a decision - allow the pain to defeat them or move past it. But when something slowly takes over one's life it is hard to untangle the threads of despair, doubt, and guilt that have taken one prisoner.

Savannah has sought to escape the pain of her failing marriage by going to her parents' summer home on Lake Garfield in the Berkshires. But this refuge has memories of its own - Kevin's proposal, summer's spent with their children. But the comfort she has always found is worth the possible pain of the memories.

But returning to the Berkshires offers her so much more including a friendship with her only neighbors on the lake. Clarice Chandler has had her own share of pain throughout her 80+ plus years and reaches out to Savannah through her great-nephew Brock and his young daughter Maysie. Brock is working through his own issues and pain but his friendship with Savannah may be what they both need.

Where Hope Begins is an exploration of family and marriage. Life can seemingly go wrong and we're left wondering how it happened. But a single decision can set us on a path we never intended. There is no right or wrong choice but rather how we react to it. We often view grief in the personal effect it has on us not seeing how it affects others. Like the ripples in a pond what affects a marriage flows out to the family and close friends.

I really enjoyed the various quotes that headed each chapter - each in some way provided a synopsis insight into the thread running through that chapter. There were also passages that just stood out to me as I read. "The moment you stop trusting is the moment you give up. Do you want to give up?" I also noted this one "God doesn't give up, dear. People do." 

Anything worth having should be noted by the effort you put into it - don't allow fears and past pains to keep you from putting your whole effort into your relationships with family and guard your heart against any temptation that could destroy it.

I would recommend this book to adult readers and older teens. It would make an excellent book club selection as there is much that could be discussed and delved into. Loss and grief are the driving force so if you want a book that is a little deeper while still providing a fictional element give this one a try.

I was provided an Advance Reader's Copy of this book by the publisher through TLC Book Tours with no expectations of a positive review ~ All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

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.

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