Hope in Patience
I loved the first book and I had high hopes for the second book. I wasn't disappointed. Hope in Patience was my favorite of the series. Ashley’s struggle pulls at your heartstrings and compels you to keep reading, standing by her side as she deals with the heartbreak of her past, rooting for her to find her way back in her own way and in her own time.
I did find the beginning to be extremely redundant as it read more like an information dump, or a synopsis of the first book. Most readers would likely want to read this wonderful series back to back, so I didn't feel that so much recapping was necessary.
Ashley’s story still continues to resonate with the absolute authenticity that I loved about the first book. This author understands what a journey to recovery is about and I applauded her ability to make her readers truly get what Ashley is going through.
As with the first book, some of the sub-plots did not have that same level of authenticity and passion as Ashley’s personal story does. I do enjoy the way other social issues, such as racism connect with the overall theme of the book, but it continues to pale in comparison to the central story of Ashley’s journey.
I have to pay tribute to Bev's character, Ashley's stepmother. She is amazing. I adore the way she teaches her students, truly reaching them on a level few teachers are capable of. She is such a strong woman, who becomes more of a mother to Ashley than her own mother ever was.
This trilogy is such a beautiful, empowering story. The message of hope will inspire young readers to find strength within themselves, helping them learn to overcome their own struggles, while allowing them to see that they are never alone.
This story really spoke to me. I'm also a former survivor of abuse. What I loved about Ashley's tale is how the author doesn't dwell on the abuse but instead shows the journey to forgiveness and healing. Ashley's father and new wife are especially helpful on this journey. Powerful writing shows this in such a way the reader can't help but feel and want Ashley to overcome the obstacles blocking her way.
Ashley suffers from PTSD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-which is very common with those who are abused. The images and descriptions of what Ashley does when she's stressed or fearful also show up with her scratching herself until she bleeds. Your heart pounds along with Ashley's as she tries to adjust to her new home where people love her and want to help. There were scenes that were so intense and moving, that I found myself in tears following Ashley's story.
The trial scene was very realistic down to the part where her abuser, her stepfather, cleans up and puts on an act to get the court not to believe Ashley's accusations. The emotions that go through Ashley's mind are painfully real.
I also liked her therapist and how he refuses to have Ashley stay stuck as the victim. After the trial, Dr. Matt tells this to Ashley:
"...the pain you're in will lessen eventually. It probably won't ever be completely gone; there will always be some sadness associated with your mom."
This is the hardest for Ashley--forgiving her mother who didn't protect her and refuses to believe her.
Loved this story! A must read for all but especially for others who've been abused. This book will show you're not alone and that it's not your fault. The underlining message of enpowerment and hope will stay with you.