Since she was only nine years old, Ashley Asher has been sexually abused by her stepfather Charlie. Not knowing what to do about it and ashamed shes somehow responsible, Ash keeps this a secret until she can finally no longer keep it in, six years later. However, when Ash finally confronts her mom with the details of how her husband hurt her, her mother denies it, not willing to believe the man she loves could do such a horrible thing. The only people who offer any type of support are her best friend Lisa and her caring teacher Mrs. Chapman, who, as an adult working for the school, is legally obligated to report Ashs case to Child Protective Services. This is how Ash comes to live with her biological father David, a man she has had no contact with since she was three months old. Courage in Patience is a powerful and moving story about how one girl fought an internal struggle to overcome the emotional scars of abuse.
Courage in Patience is one of the best debut novels I have ever read. Ashleys story is such a sad and touching one. I was immediately sucked into Ashs story, about how she was abused by her stepfather and how that affected everything else in her life, especially her ability to trust. I became very attached to Ash, because she was such a real person; it made me feel so sad when she felt the effects of her abuse. I used quite a bit of tissues while reading this book, because it is just such a horrible thing that parents could betray their children in the way that Ashs mother and stepfather betrayed her. Yet, at the same time, there was David and his wife Beverly who were there to support Ash the whole way, which gave hope to Ashs character and the reader. But Ashleys story isnt the only one there is in this book. Through the summer school English class Bev teaches, Ash is able to interact with other teens that also happen to have problems, bringing up issues such as prejudice against race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. Sometimes it was a little distracting to have all those other small stories woven into Ashs journey, but in the end, it all came down to this: no matter who you are or what situation you are in, there is always hope and someone who can help you. The only part of this story that I felt was slightly out of place was Bevs secret from Ash about her past, because it was just so surprising; however, at the same time, it works perfectly to help Ash heal.
Ashs story is an unforgettable one, and a story that should be read by everyone. Its one of pain, hope, and the beauty of healing. Fehlbaums writing is authentic and raw and confronts important issues that arent addressed in most other novels. Courage in Patience appeals to teens as well as adults and is a story that can give everyone hope.
reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com