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Posted July 29, 2012
Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum is the second book in a three book series. This series deals with a very real life experience for many children. Hope in Patience tells a powerful story of continued abuse and how one 15 year old girl dealt with it.
Fifteen year old Ashley Asher’s childhood was taken away from her by her stepfather Charlie. Ashley suffered many years of sexual abuse from her stepfather. As if this was not painful enough for her, her mother did not believe her when she finally had the courage to tell her what was happening. Ashley thankfully went to live with her biological father (whom she had never had a relationship with) in Patience, Texas. There she tries to rebuild her life with new family, friends and therapy. She is often pained with nightmares and relives her abuse. She is having a difficult time accepting that her mother chose her stepfather over her.
The author Beth Fehlbum makes Ashley’s abuse a very real experience for the reader. I found my heart aching for Ashley while reading this story. I love how Beth Fehlbum doesn’t continually focus on Ashley’s abuse throughout the entire story. She makes this a story of hope for others like Ashley. So many young girls that have been abused need to realize that there are others out there like them who have overcome their tragic experience and are now living their lives.
Many people are very uncomfortable talking about sexual abuse. However, sexual abuse is a very real problem in the world around us today. I would definitely recommend this series to any teenage girl who has suffered abuse.
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Posted September 19, 2011
Ashley finally escaped her nightmare of a home with her mother and is beginning to make a little progress with her father's family. The many years of abuse have left her very fragil and it doesn't take a lot to set her back. Her new family always stands by her and she keeps gaining ground. You do not recover from such long lasting abuse easily and often the family members of the abusive home refuse to acknowledge that the abuse ever happened. The story is very moving and the characters are fully realized. I highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Hope in Patience is up there with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Willow by Julia Hoban as some of the most moving YA books that deal with abusive situations. This is one of those books that, when you finish reading it, you wish you could give a copy to every girl who's ever been abused.
I thought that the main character, Ashley, was extremely well-written. Though I've never (thankfully!) been abused myself, I had no trouble empathizing with her situation. The author did a wonderful job of capturing the pain and raw emotion that Ashley felt while trying to move on from her past.
One of the parts I enjoyed the most was how realistic the community of Patience was. Ashley lives in a small town, and with that sometimes comes small-minded people. Growing up in a small town myself, I found parallels between characters in the book and people that I had grown up with. The character of Marcus, an extremely conservative, judgmental, Bible-thumping teen, really evoked an emotional response in me. I knew a lot of kids in high school who acted in almost the exact same way, and I've never found it easy to deal with. Not that I think that religion is a bad thing, but characters like Marcus are the ones who give it a bad name. However, just because Ashley lives in a small town doesn't mean that everyone is ignorant and prejudiced. There are many kind, loving people who are present as well, and they really make an impact on both Ashley and the story as a whole.
Hope in Patience isn't a story about abuse. It's a story of love, hope, and perseverance in adversity. It's about facing your past and learning to move on. For fans of Hush (Eishes Chayil), Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), Willow (Julia Hoban), or Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher), Hope in Patience is a must-read!
This is a harsh story, and my heart broke for Ashley over and over again while I was reading it. It is not a book that will be immediately accessible to a wide audience. It is a book that shows how one young woman is able to overcome years of sexual and emotional abuse with the help of some solid family and friends, and as such, it it has the power to provide exactly what the title suggests, hope, if it gets into the right hands.
Ashley's abuse at the hands of her step-father is definitely a focal point of Hope in Patience, even though it is all in the past at the opening of the book (though it does still manage to be graphic in places). Her mother's emotional abuse, however, manages to still reach Ashley in Patience and still tear Ashley to bits. It is that, more than facing her step-father at trial that puts up roadblocks on Ashley's road to normalcy. It is also what makes it so hard for Ashley to trust that her father and step-mother really love her, want her around, and have her best interest at heart.
Ashley's scared, kind, bold, shy, and overly aware of herself in the way that folks in therapy often are. And she's funny. And not broken. Fehlbaum, in Ashley, has managed to show that a person can go through hell and back, be totally and in some ways irrevocably scarred, and still not lose what make them them. Ashley displays fierce loyalties to her friends, K.C. and Z.Z. especially, even when she's struggling to hold herself together. And they do the same for her when she needs it the most. And there's Joshua. He's cute, he's on the track team, and he like Ashley, which in a lot of ways terrifies her. Learning to trust him with all of her issues is the Big Thing in this book. It's the Big Problem and also the Big Indication of Growth. It's also really sweet.
Hope in Patience is ultimately about how Ashley grows out of the shell that years of abuse put her in. It is the powerful story of how she stops being Ashley-who-was-abused and becomes just Ashley.
Book source: ARC provided by the publisher.