Hope Springsby Kim Cash Tate
Hope Springs is the epitome of small-town life—a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where not a lot changes . . . until now.
Janelle Evans hasn’t gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother/p>/b>
Hope Springs is the epitome of small-town life—a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where not a lot changes . . . until now.
Janelle Evans hasn’t gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn’t long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened.
Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she’s longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she’s been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women’s conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father’s church in Hope Springs. Will small-town living affect her big ministry dreams?
Stephanie London is married to a doctor in St. Louis and living an ideal life. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels compelled to do the same. It’s a decision that will forever change her.
As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God's plan for them in Hope Springs—and for Hope Springs itself—is bigger than they ever imagined.
"Kim Cash Tate draws us into a world where the dreams, desires, missteps, and matters of the heart we discover mirror our own. She is a master at crafting characters who make you forget you're reading fiction. By the end of Hope Springs, you'll feel as if you're cheering on members of your extended family." —Stacy Hawkins Adams, bestselling author of Coming Home and The Someday List
“Tate expertly crafts an intriguing narrative that explores unrequited love, true faith, and the complicated politics of change in the Christian church . . . [an] affecting tale about forgiveness and following God’s call.” —Publishers Weekly
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By KIM CASH TATE
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Kimberly Cash Tate
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWednesday, December 23
Stephanie Sanders London sulked with all the fervor she could muster as she and Lindell rode the escalator up to security in St. Louis's Lambert International Airport. She stared vaguely at the moving stairway, lips pursed, sighing displeasure with rhythmic regularity.
Lindell looked over at her. "Steph, I thought it was settled." He had the nerve to look amused. "We said we were done talking about it."
Her eyes floated to the rafters. "You didn't hear me say a word."
"Oh, cool. Glad I was mistaken."
"I'm just sayin', though, Lindell"—she hit his shoulder—"and stop laughing because I wasn't saying a word before but I am now." She adjusted the purse on her shoulder. "I don't see why you're acting like we have to go. I'm the one who came up with the idea for this trip, so I should have the right to change my—"
She paused just off the escalator, gaping at the security line that snaked up and down the cordoned rows, spilling into the general walkway, past the Starbucks, ending with an older woman who'd set her bag on the ground and folded her arms.
"That's it. It's a sign. I'm out."
She turned on her heel toward the down escalator, and Lindell pulled her back.
"Where are you going?"
Lindell looped his hand through her arm and walked her forward as he wheeled their luggage. "It's two days before Christmas," he said. "We knew the lines would be long. That's why we left early."
Stephanie trudged beside him, shaking her head. "What on earth possessed me to suggest traveling for Christmas?"
"To spend time with your family."
"I can spend time with my family here, like I do every Christmas." They joined the back of the line, behind two families who had gotten behind the older woman.
"Exactly. But Pastor Lyles preached that sermon about doing something different this Christmas, taking the focus off of ourselves. And what did you say?" He leaned over, his ear tuned.
"At the time I said it might be nice to visit my Grandma Geri, since Daddy said she wasn't feeling too well and I haven't been down there in a long while."
Lindell nodded. "And it was a great idea!"
"Yeah, well, the sermon wore off." She shuffled forward with the others. "I don't want to do anything different for Christmas. There'll be a lot of people staying at her house, and I don't even know them that well—"
"It's family, Steph."
"I stopped going to the reunions and all that after high school because a weekend getaway in Hope Springs, North Carolina, wasn't exactly my idea of a happening time. Nor is Christmas in Hope Springs." She sighed. "I mean, Daddy's not even going, and it's his mother."
"Steph, come on ... your folks were just there in the summer, and they're going back soon. You know they can't miss Chase's first Christmas." He donned a wry smile. "Guess they want to see Cyd and Cedric too."
Stephanie allowed a chuckle. "You've got that right. Chase is the main attraction." Stephanie's older sister, Cyd, had had a baby in the spring, the first grandchild. "Little spoiled self. And I won't get to see him open the presents I bought him."
"I'm looking forward to getting to know this side of your family. At our wedding I barely got the right names attached to the right faces."
"Shoot, me too. How about this?" She looked hopefully at her husband. "We could rebook the trip for spring, after you get back from Haiti. And I can get Cyd and Cedric to come and bring the baby." She should've thought of that at first. Cyd knew this side of the family much better than she.
Lindell shook his head. "It'll be crazy at work when I get back." Lindell was a doctor and was headed to Haiti for a month on a medical mission trip. He kissed her nose. "We're going. Today. It'll be awesome."
The line inched along, Stephanie retreating into her thoughts. That was another thing, this mission trip. She was happy for Lindell. He'd been excited about it the moment it surfaced and had asked if she'd like to help in an orphanage while he worked with the mobile clinic. But it just wasn't her, so she declined. As the trip got closer, though, and his team had more and more meetings to prepare, she wondered why it wasn't her.
Well. She knew why. She wasn't the servant type. What she really wondered was whether that could ever change. And she surprised herself by sending up a prayer for it to change. And to know whether her life had some kind of purpose ... besides shopping. Which she loved. But still.
Stephanie sighed, thinking how excited she'd gotten about Pastor Lyles's Christmas message. Seemed to tie in with her prayers. Visiting Grandma Geri sure sounded like a servanty thing to do. But now the whole thing seemed weird. What would they even talk about? Thank God other family would be—
Stephanie heard her ringtone and dug out her phone.
"Checking up on me?" Stephanie said.
Her dad chuckled. "Now why would I need to do that?"
"Oh, you might've wondered what was going on after that message I left this morning."
"You mean the one asking me to call Lindell and assure him that my family would understand if you changed your travel plans?"
Stephanie sneaked a peek at her husband. She lowered her voice a little. "Wouldn't have hurt to call him, you know."
"I did call him."
"Then why am I at the airport?"
"I told him you were his responsibility now, and I'm happy to let him handle you all on his own."
She could hear the grin in her dad's voice and couldn't help but smile herself. "Oh yeah? Then why are you calling?"
"I forgot to tell you there's a big funeral in Hope Springs this afternoon. And I really need you to go."
"Aw, Daddy, now I'm supposed to go to a funeral? You know I don't like funerals. They're so ... creepy."
"They're nobody's favorite thing, Steph, but Jim Dillon was like family. You remember Jim, lived next door to Grandma Geri?"
"The pastor? You grew up with him, didn't you?"
"Yes, but I was older. He was tight with my younger brother, Wood." Bruce sighed. "Total shock. Momma found him slumped over the kitchen table from a heart attack. I looked into making a quick trip, but last-minute flights were either booked or too expensive. So I'm hoping you'll represent."
Her dad added, "But I do feel bad I forgot to tell you, because I know you didn't pack for a funeral."
"Oh, that's not an issue. I always pack some of everything." Lindell nodded big, pretending to labor in pulling their luggage forward. Stephanie pinched him.
"All right, Daddy, I'll go." She sighed. Was this another servanty thing? Shoot, after this trip, she'd be servant certified.
"Thanks, sweetheart. And by the way, did you decide to stay at Momma's or a hotel?"
She'd been leaning toward a hotel a few miles away in Rocky Mount, but her dad had encouraged her to stay at her grandmother's.
"Not sure yet," she said. "I've got until six o'clock this evening to cancel the hotel reservation."
"A lot of bonding happens late at night at the house, you know," her father said.
Stephanie quirked a brow. "Is that supposed to be an argument in favor or against?"
"Don't be surprised when you have a great time, Steph," her dad said. "Give everyone our love."
Lindell was looking at the itinerary.
"What time do we arrive?" Stephanie asked, dropping her phone back into her purse.
"Eleven fifty." He tucked the paper away as they moved forward, showing their IDs and boarding passes to the security guard. They headed to the shortest X-ray line.
"So we get the rental car in Raleigh and drive straight to your grandmother's?" Lindell asked. "How far is it?"
"Uh ... I meant to print out directions." Stephanie reached for a bin for the liquids she'd stored in a baggie. "Something like forty minutes, I think. We'll get a map when we get there."
"Cool. Hope Springs, here we come!"
She pumped her arms in a rah-rah motion. "Awesome!"
Lindell grinned. "See, you're getting the spirit."
She cut her eyes at him as she placed her purse on the security belt.
Chapter TwoJanelle Evans rode a seesaw of emotion the entire road trip south. Should she be going to Hope Springs for Christmas? Would it have been better to stay home?
The mile marker winged past: Hope Springs 10 miles. This was her home away from home. She'd spent weeks of summer down here as a kid, attended almost every Sanders family reunion, celebrated countless Easters and Christmases. But once she'd had her own kids, they'd begun building their own Christmas traditions at home.
She and her husband, David, used to pile the family in the car the day after Thanksgiving to get the tree. They'd make apple cider and decorate not just the tree but the whole house, inside and out. And on Christmas morning, David would lead the family in a special Christmas devotion before the kids tore into their gifts.
But now David was gone and Janelle languished at this time of year especially, not feeling the joy, not wanting to decorate, preferring to bury herself under her bedcovers until the season passed. To the dismay of her family, she'd done that the past two Christmases—and planned to do it again.
But she'd gotten word that Grandma Geri was under the weather. Then Pastor Jim, a lifelong family friend, died unexpectedly. That gave her mom and her cousin Libby all the extra fodder they needed.
"You should be with your family for Christmas anyway," they said. "Now even more so."
Janelle packed up the kids, left a house with a single symbol of Christmas—an artificial tabletop tree—and started the drive from Maryland to North Carolina, her first such trip since David's death.
She squinted at the highway exit sign approaching. As many times as she'd been here, why did she always get confused at this point? Did she take the first exit into Hope Springs or the second?
"Baby, it's the second. How is it that I always remember, and I haven't been coming down here half as long as you?"
A shiver shot through Janelle, and she was suddenly trembling. This was exactly why she'd stayed away. It was hard enough wading through the painful memories surrounding home, church, and school. Now she'd have to relive the loss here. She sighed, casting a quick glance over her shoulder at the kids. In many ways, this would be harder. These were the people closest to her, and David had come to love visits to Hope Springs as much as she. Everywhere she turned, there'd be a stab of memory, like that stupid highway sign.
She veered off on the second exit and drove a couple miles down a stretch of lonely road. A handful of isolated houses came into view, then that familiar sign: Welcome to Hope Springs—population 1200. The exit was one thing, the town another. She knew these streets like the back of her hand. Not that there were very many of them.
"So there really is a Mayberry, huh?"
Janelle had laughed at David's remark on his first visit. Now it punctuated the sadness as she made a left onto Main, eyes darting to the clock on the dash—12:10. Funeral started at three. She'd made good time.
She drove past the two-pump gas station, long closed, and a smattering of storefronts, plus the Main Street Diner, all with Christmas lights strung. Not a lot of hustle and bustle in the early afternoon-or anytime, really—but a handful of townspeople dotted the sidewalks. Hope Springs always marked a stark contrast to life just outside the nation's capital. Simpler living. Slower pace. Even her driving was unusually sedate.
Janelle turned left again and headed down her grandmother's road, greeted by familiar old homes of varying sizes and states of repair. She bypassed them all and rounded a bend that opened up a different view—a wooded preserve to the left and a stretch of green space on the right. The two houses at the end of the street had been occupied by the same two families for generations, the Sanders and the Dillons. Spending time with one family in Hope Springs meant spending time with the other.
She tapped the brake and gazed at the Dillon home, a two-story white frame house with black shutters and rocking chairs on the front porch. Looked eerily quiet. She still couldn't believe Jim Dillon had died of a heart attack. He was only in his late fifties. Probably thought he'd be pastoring Calvary Church another decade at least.
Janelle continued to Grandma Geri's house, a ranch style that had expanded over the years to accommodate Sanders family gatherings. She pulled onto the dirt and grass that served as a parking lot when family visited, parking next to her parents' car. They'd arrived last night from Florida. When she killed the engine, heads rose behind her and arms stretched with yawning.
"Are we here?" Eight-year-old Daniel rubbed his eyes.
Janelle turned. "Yes, baby, we're here."
They'd driven four and a half hours, and the kids had slept the last two.
Tiffany unhooked the seat belt that crossed her booster seat. "I'm ready to get out, Mommy."
Janelle smiled at her. "Okay, sweetie."
She opened her door and stepped out, leaving the winter jacket she'd worn at the start of the trip. An Indian summer breeze had warmed the Carolina air—and a delicious aroma filled it. She inhaled. Her dad, Russell, and Uncle Wood were probably in the back roasting a pig. Whether the occasion was happy or sad, the prescription was the same—lots and lots of food.
The sliding door opened and Daniel popped out, with Tiffany on his heels. At four she did her best to keep up with her brother's every move. They made a beeline for the house just as Libby was walking out. She spun around.
"Daniel and Tiffany—I know y'all didn't run right past me like you didn't see me."
Daniel stopped with his foot in the door. He and Tiffany turned back around, gave Libby a quick hug, and ran inside.
"That's what you get for being a regular visitor." Janelle hugged her cousin. "They don't think it's anything special to see you."
Since David died, Libby had driven up from Raleigh every few months to spend time with Janelle.
"Uh-huh." Libby looked back at them. "Bet they won't run past my Christmas gifts."
They moved to the door, and Libby paused with her hand on the screen handle. "Before we go in, his name is Al."
"Who brings a date to a funeral?"
"Crazy, right? That's what I told him." Libby came closer and whispered, "I told him I was staying through Christmas, and he asked if he could come meet Mom and Dad."
"Oh, he's trying to get in with the family? It can't be serious because you haven't even told me about him."
Libby gave her a look. "Exactly. He can think it's serious all he wants. He gives nice gifts."
Janelle shook her head. "You're a heartbreaker, Libby."
The two cousins walked inside, the house relatively quiet still. In the next two hours, the family room to the left would be filled with cousins, aunts and uncles, and family friends, all carrying on pockets of animated conversation. This room was the most recent renovation, added a decade ago and furnished with an eclectic mix of pull-out sofas, recliners, and a corner card table. The bonus this time of year was the beautiful fir tree prominently displayed, with tons of gifts already wrapped and under its branches.
Through the far window, Janelle could see her kids. Must've run through the house and out another door to hang with their grandpa and Libby's dad, Uncle Wood. Al was the only one in the family room, watching something on television.
He got up and smiled as they entered. "I've seen pictures, but now I get to see 'the twins' live and in color."
The same age and inseparable at family gatherings, Janelle and Libby had been dubbed "the twins" as youngsters. But it was especially fitting since their parents really were twins-Janelle's mom and Libby's dad.
Libby put her cheek next to her cousin's, grinning. "Don't we look exactly alike?"
"Uh ..." Al turned his head sideways for a different angle, trying to mesh Libby's light brown skin and super-short cut with Janelle's maple brown skin and shoulder-length locks. "You're both beautiful, how's that?"
Janelle laughed. "I like you already."
He gave her a friendly embrace. "Nice to meet you."
"Likewise," Janelle said. "So you live in the Raleigh-"
"I know Janelle didn't come in this house and has yet to step in this kitchen."
"Uh-oh." Janelle turned toward the sound of the voice. Her aunt Gladys was calling her out.
"Come on in here, girl."
Janelle looked sheepish on purpose as she slow-walked down the hall, seeing them all waiting for her—her mother and Aunt Gladys, and Libby's mom, Aunt Denise. Each had her hands in something, a mixing bowl, a pot or pan. Every burner on the stove was lit, and casserole dishes and desserts lined the counter. But busy as they were, their eyes fixed on her. Janelle knew exactly what they were about to give her—equal parts hug and loving rebuke.
Excerpted from Hope Springs by KIM CASH TATE Copyright © 2012 by Kimberly Cash Tate. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Kim Cash Tate isthe author of The Color of Hope, Hope Springs, Cherished, Faithful,Heavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is alsoa Bible teacher and women's ministry leader at The Gate Church in St. Louis.She and her husband have two children. Twitter: @KimCashTate Facebook: kimcashtate
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As soon as I started reading this book, I felt a little lost. Sort of like I had been thrown into a story that other people already knew half of and I knew nothing about. There wasn't a lot of introduction to the characters so I often felt like I was playing catch-up trying to figure out who these people were. From what I understand, some of Kim's other books revolve around some of the characters seen in Hope Springs¿, but since I haven't read any of her other books I felt out of the loop. Another thing I wasn't very fond of was the fact that the elapsed time between chapters varied from a few days to a few months and there wasn't a lot of talk about what had happened during those gaps in the story. Once I was able to get a feel for the characters and their stories, I enjoyed the book a little. It was hard to really enjoy the book as a whole because it was almost like starting to watch a TV show in the middle and having to piece together past events on my own. I am sure that Kim Cash Tate is a wonderful story teller, I just wish I'd read some of her other books before jumping into this one. I plan to give her another shot and pick up one of her earlier books and I'd advise others interested in this book to do the same in hopes that they won't be as lost as I was at times. Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate Hope Springs is the little town where Grandma Geri’s family and friends come together to support her during her cancer diagnosis. Her family members are surprised to learn that she has hidden a secret from them for years. In revealing it, she puts herself at risk of rejection by those she loves. Meanwhile, her granddaughters are also dealing with difficult life lessons and encountering lost loves. Kim Cash Tate weaves themes of family, loyalty, love and loss throughout this book. Not having read any of her previous books, I found it difficult to keep up with the many different characters. Her theme of racial reconciliation was presented plainly. However, because it was difficult to keep the characters straight, I wasn’t always sure of their racial heritage, and that made understanding the plot trickier. Now that I have been introduced to the main characters, I would consider reading her previous books. As a Christian author, she handles modern-day issues of sexual purity and pregnancy outside marriage sensitively. Her characters, though flawed, learn and grow in grace from their mistakes. The book didn’t have a “perfect “en ding, but a realistic one. I am grateful for the free copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.
Kim Cash Tate has crafted an intricate story that, left to someone else's hand, could have become a confusing mess. But with Tate's touch, the trials and tribulations of the members of the Dillon and Sanders families, as well as their friends, are well presented. There is much that occurs in "Hope Springs." It starts with family getting together at the Christmas holiday and also attending a funeral following an unexpected death. In the course of all this, Janelle tries to better copy with her husband's untimely death while an old love rekindles; Stephanie tries to find the "nicer, better" version of herself while her husband is on a mission trip to Haiti; Libby tries to come to terms with her feelings for an old friend and former boyfriend; and Becca works through her emotions after being added as a speaker to a national women's conference and then being dropped as quickly as she was included in the lineup. In the middle of all this is a serious illness that threatens to hasten Grandma Geri's departure from this life and a secret no one saw coming. While the writing itself is a bit clunky at times, Tate does a good job of providing just enough detail to make the story clear without overwhelming the reader, especially since there are so many storylines and characters being presented. I often found it difficult to put down the book, which is always a good sign, especially because I could relate to some of the faith difficulties some of the characters encounter. Overall, a good read. Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
Reading Hope Springs was like stepping into the town itself. I could relate to so many of the characters, and I almost felt as if I was a part of their close-knit family. The women in this book face struggles that we all deal with, sometimes even daily. Libby struggles with her dating relationships and the paralyzing fear of commitment. Stephanie is living a comfortable life, the one she carefully planned for, but feelings of discontent have her wondering if there’s something more. Becca has finally been given the opportunity of a lifetime, the very thing she’s always dreamed of, but what happens if it is immediately taken away? And could her husband’s calling be different than her own? Janelle is still grieving her husband’s death and is raising her two children on her own, wondering what is the next step in her life. Sara Ann desires to do more to serve her Lord, but fears that she isn’t worthy, isn’t good enough. The small town of Hope Springs is honestly synonymous for many, many small towns and communities. Having grown up in a small southern town myself, I’ve seen first-hand the lines of segregation that still exist today. Miss Tate did an exemplary of presenting this issue in an honest, factual way. As Christians, these lines that we draw, regardless if they are racial, social, or simply lines of bitterness are dividing the plans and blessings that God has in store for us. This story is also a great example of how easily secrets, feelings of prejudice and things left unspoken can tear a family apart. Learning to let go can be the hardest thing, but the most beautiful, and rewarding thing in the very end. Hope Springs is the third novel Kim Cash Tate has written around the Sanders family, preceded by Faithful and Cherished. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through a publicity agency. However I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions listed above are entirely my own.
"Stephanie heard a sermon that inspired her to do something selfless for Christmas. But the sermon "wore off," and she wanted to change her mind. When you receive inspiration from above to step outside your comfort zone, do you follow through? Is it hard?" --- Kim Cash Tate Kim Tate is Christian writer who isn't afraid to tackle the difficult subjects or themes. Her latest novel is a testament about life, forgiveness and answering God's call. Her characters are well developed and many layered, the backdrop wonderfully descriptive, and the storyline is compelling. You will be encouraged to continue turning the page because of the fine writing. Publishers Weekly probably said it best: "Tate expertly crafts an intriguing narrative that explores unrequited love, true faith, and the complicated politics of change in the Christian church ...(An) affecting tale about forgiveness and following God's call." Publishers Weekly review of Hope Springs. If you've accused Christian fiction of being boring or preachy and predictable try Hope Springs. I suspect you will be on the lookout for Ms. Tate's other offerings (Faithful and Cherished both by Kim Cash Tate). Disclaimer: This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for review purposes. The words are my own.
Hope Springs is a small town where everyone knows everyone. Of course, this also means everyone is involved in everyone else's business as well. When the pastor of one of the 2 churches in town passes away, former Hope Springs residents come back for the funeral. As they discover how theirs lives have changed, they also discover they still have many things in common. The Sanders family soon learns their matriarch, Grandma Geri, is very ill. They try to make the best of things, but a family secret soon rocks them to their cores. Meanwhile the Dillon family is making some big decisions of their own when husband Jim feels called to come minister to the flock his father left behind. There are ups and downs, but the residents of Hope Springs will find that with each other they can make it through anything. This book kind of took me by surprise. There were a lot of topics that could be somewhat heavy, but the author managed to handle them very deftly. I will admit to getting confused with all the names though. I definitely needed that family tree in the front! I think the book managed to talk about sensitive topics without being too preachy (which is saying a lot for a book somewhat about preaching). Nothing was really wrapped up in a neat little bow, and I appreciated that. It made the book seem more realistic. I found myself cheering for almost every character. Even through the problems and secrets, I grew to love all the characters in different ways. The big family secret surprised me, and that can be hard to do sometimes. It wasn't really projected in any way, so I was feeling just like the characters. I really loved the way race was portrayed in this book. To have so many people of different races who were equally successful and well-rounded was awesome. These are the types of positive characters that everyone could stand to read about. Sure, they all had their struggles, but they were all good people overall. Reading about the children being wonderfully colorblind helped give me hope. Issues with race in the past, present, and future were all addressed to some degree. Once again, no easy answers were given, but there were definitely a lot of things for me to think about. Just watching the people of Hope Springs start a conversation about it was great. When it came to forgiveness of others, I like that one character was ready to admit she couldn't just easily throw aside past hurts. I just felt like so many of they characters had problems that so many of us have had or will have in our lives. Watching them work through it all helped give me some ideas of things I could work on. This book was really fantastic, and I think a lot of people will enjoy reading it. Galley provided for review.
Pretty boring - I kept thinking it would get better.
Kim Cash Tate is one of my favorite authors and she never disappoints! I love how all of her stories intertwine and she writes characters that are so easy to relate to! In Hope Springs we encounter three women; Janelle, Stephanie and Becca. They are all on extremely different journeys but all find they are in need of healing and restoration in their lives. What I love about this book is how it evokes strong emotion and gives extremely realistic circumstances. As with all of Kim Cash Tate's stories, you will put it down feeling as if you knew the characters personally and lived the stories right along with them. I highly recommend this book and love how it is not only a great story, but also brings such strong spiritual conviction with it!
After several years of not being close to her family, Stephanie has a sudden urge to spend Christmas at her grandmother's house. While there, she learns that her grandmother has terminal cancer. Since her husband has volunteered for a medical missions trip to Haiti, she has time on her hands and offers to move in and help her cousins take care of her grandmother. In the months to come, the family not only goes through the trials of watching their grandmother as she weakens, but they also learn family secrets that have kept family members apart too long. But as they grow closer to one another, their faith in God grows stronger as well. This was an uplifting Christian fiction novel. It was not too preachy or sappy, but the characters were very human. The situations that arose are the type that happen in families every day. On a personal level, I really related to Becca's character and her situation. It was also very nice to see how the author handled the interracial aspect of the church today. It has been said that Sunday is the most segregated day of the week, and although this is changing, it is still a slow change. I really appreciated the way she emphasized this point. My only complaint, and it is a small one: eventually, there were so many characters, I couldn't keep up with all of them. But that's still a small complaint for such a good novel. I look forward to reading more from this author. This was definitely 4 stars.
Hope Springs is a small town in North Carolina...held together by two churches...one white Calvery and the other black New Jerusalem. The story starts when Jim Anderson pastor of Calvery passes away. He lives next door to Geri Sanders and their families have lived by each other most all of their lives. Both families come back to town for his services. This book becomes a compelling read, and we are soon immersed in the lives of these families. While in town it is found out that Grandma Geri is dying of lung cancer. This fact changes a lot of lives, and the family begins to focus mainly on her well being. The center of the story are the lives of Granddaughters Janelle, Stephanie, Libby, and Becca Anderson...her husband is called to take over his Dad's Church. Throughout this book I found God leading, yes there are hard times, and a lot of tears shed. Don't miss this page turning read! I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate is an impacting book on so many levels. This inspirational novel tells the story of two families – past to present - and their relationships, struggles, life callings, and healings. Set in the rural south, Hope Springs ventures down the pathways of race, Christian unity and radical forgiveness. At the heart of the story, there is an ongoing theme of love, sacrifice, and surrender. The significance of this book’s message is relevant to all. I could believe that anything is possible in Hope Springs. The view of God from that place is truly magnificent. - I enjoyed this book more than I can say. It is a favorite and a keeper. I would very definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in appreciating the value of family, forgiveness, redemption, spiritual growth and love. Female or male, I believe this book has resounding lessons for the heart.
Hope Springs by Kim Tate was a fun read! I was actually reading two books at the same time. The other book was very “Heavy” and really made you think and reflect. This book, Hope Springs was a nice distraction! I am always grateful for a book that can take my mind off the real world and just put me at peace. Reading has always been a treasure for me and my dad, and even more so since his passing. This book spoke volumes in terms of family relationships and friendships. It took place in the South, and while it was written in the present, some of the issues dealt with prejudices and what happens when we let what other people think about race and the world affect our own thinking. This is not uncommon today and therefore, this story was written very well to display these things. The book also focused on finding yourself. Each person (and there were a lot of characters in this book, which made it difficult at the beginning to keep everyone straight) had their own issues to deal with. Each person had something in their past or an obstacle in their future that they had to think through and trust God to help them with. Trusting and leaning on God was pivotal for these characters, as was trusting and leaning on each other in good and bad times. I always seem to enjoy the books I receive from Booksneeze. Thanks for another opportunity to read a good one!
A good addition to the Christian fiction field At first I wasn't sure I would like Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate. First chapters seemed too light, and I thought I would be reading a predictable romance despite there being a large gathering of characters. But as the characters settled into their extended stays in the Hope Springs community, author Tate exposed some deeper issues to her readers. Todd Dillon, who has come home for his pastor father's funeral, contemplates an offer to take over his father's ministry at Calvery Church. His trip to Hope Springs gives him an opportunity to reconnect with his childhood best friend Travis who pastors the large black congregation down the street at New Jerusalem. Travis deeply cares for his flock, especially Grandma Geri, one of the congregation's pillars. Geri's family, the Sanders have always been close to their white neighbors, the Dillons, and so many of Geri's grandchildren have come to grieve with Todd and his family. It is this "enlightened" friendship between the races that Tate holds up to the light through the rest of the book. Despite decade old neighborhood friendships, the black community and the white community do not worship together on a regular basis. It will be a off-the-cuff Bible study at the local cafe started by cousin Janelle that will bring the women of both races together in a meaningful way. And as Geri's family gathers round her following an announcement of a serious illness, she reveals a family secret that will forever change the Dillons and Sanders families. I ended up liking the book mainlt because of the bigger issues that underscore the story. I also liked the large cast which gave the author much to write about and much for me to follow. Todd's wife who appears to be a successful Christian speaker undergoes some significant reflection and rethinking of her life. Stephanie, a young married who admits that she struggles against any call to put others first in her life, comes to cherish time with her grandma and cousins. Soon she is reaping the rewards of selflessness. Janelle, still deep in grief over the death of her young husband, finds she is in the position to be with Grandma Geri as her health deteriorates, but that puts her in the pathway of an old flame. Another cousin Libby remains caught up in an empty lifestyle, but her trips to Hope Springs and the safety of extended family become more frequent. I am sure another Hope Springs novel will follow -- romance and a happy ending finds one of the cousins, but not another. More stories remain to be told I received an e-copy of this title for review purposes. All opinions are mine.