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Friday, July 20, 2018

Where Hope Begins

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda.  When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids.  She and her husband have two grown children.

Visit her online at, on Facebook at CatherineJWest and on Twitter @cathwest.

Sometimes we're allowed to glimpse the beauty from 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.

My Thoughts:
West is a master at deep characterization and drawing readers into her stories...from the very first lines...
"My husband is leaving me.  The thought, the reality, presses against my throat as I stand outside and take in the view from the back patio of our home."
I was invested deeply in Savannah's story just a couple of pages in.
West allows readers to get a multi-dimensional view by allowing the perspectives of a number of characters to shine through.  Having my parents' divorce as part of my personal story made reading Savannah's children's view emotionally challenging.

As West weaves Savannah and her husband, Kevin's, story my heart beat so heavy with emotion that I simply had to lay the book down and walk away at times while reading.  And the ending, well you won't see it coming but it will wreck you in the most achingly beautiful way possible.  I'm not sure I have a word to describe what I felt.  All I know is that this is the most beautiful story I have read in a that has stayed with me and will go on the keeper shelf right beside West's other novels, The Memory of You and The Things We Knew.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.  All opinions stated here are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,