Hope Springs (Hope Springs Series #2)

Hope Springs (Hope Springs Series #2)

by Lynne Hinton

Paperback(First SanFrancisco Paperback Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062517470
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/01/2003
Series: Hope Springs Series , #2
Edition description: First SanFrancisco Paperback Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 801,155
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

A retreat leader and writing teacher, Lynne Hinton is the author of numerous novels including Pie Town, Wedding Cake, Christmas Cake, Friendship Cake, Hope Springs, and Forever Friends. She also writes a mystery series under the name Jackie Lynn. She lives in New Mexico.

Read an Excerpt

Hope Springs
Chapter One

Safety is of the lord's was printed in three-foot-tall red letters, stretched high and wide across the back of the transfer truck that pulled out in front of Charlotte as she drove Highway 85 heading toward Chapel Hill.

"Jesus!" was all she said as she slammed on brakes and swerved onto the shoulder to avoid hitting it. And then, "Shit." It wasn't until after the word had spilled out of her mouth, loud and unmistakably clear, that she remembered a church member was sitting next to her. She turned to her right to see if Beatrice was okay.

The older woman was pale but certainly fine, having reached out in front of her, bracing herself for the collision. White-knuckled and rigid, she softened as the car rolled forward and finally stopped. Since the near miss was over, she blew out a noisy puff of air. Seconds later she loosened her grip and released her hands from the curved black plastic, touched at the hair on her forehead, and asked, "My God, is that from the Old or the New Testament?"

There were prints from her fingers still showing on the dashboard.

Charlotte had pulled off to the side of the road and put the car into park. She closed her eyes and dropped her chin to her chest. Her heart was pounding. She hadn't had such a close call on the highway in a long time. It unnerved her and she knew that she needed a few minutes to get herself together. Other vehicles flew past them, almost lifting the little car back onto the road. Finally, Charlotte turned to Beatrice, remembering that she had asked a question.

"Is what from the Old or New Testament?" She was still rattled.

"That sentence." Beatrice smoothedout the front of her dress and tugged at her panty hose.

Charlotte was confused. She shrugged her shoulders as if to signal that she wasn't following Beatrice's line of thinking.

"On that truck. It said 'Safety is of the Lord's.' Is that from before or after Jesus?"

Charlotte then remembered the sign on the truck. She shook her head at the question while putting the car into gear. She signaled and pulled onto the interstate slowly. "It's from a psalm, I guess." She looked in her rearview mirror and watched as the cars behind them moved into the left lanes, allowing her space to merge.

"It's nice, I think." Beatrice lowered the visor and began studying herself in the mirror.

Charlotte started to mention the irony of such a quotation on a vehicle that had almost crushed them; but as she turned to say something to Beatrice, the older woman already seemed to have forgotten what she'd said. She was reaching down on the floorboard to open her purse. She took out her lipstick and painted her lips bright pink, as if the near wreck had reminded her to do what she usually never forgot, "be ready." She flipped up the visor, smacking her lips together, and offered the lipstick to Charlotte, who raised her hand and politely refused.

"No, of course not, pink is not your color." Beatrice put the cover on the lipstick and stowed it in her purse. She took a breath.

"Have you seen the Mary Kay samples for fall? There's some lovely corals and mauves that I think would match your fair skin and dark hair nicely. And I believe we can find some eye pencils that will draw out that gold in your eyes."

Charlotte did not reply.

For some time now, Beatrice had been trying to help her pastor "find her colors" and "perk up her wardrobe." She seemed satisfied that Charlotte no longer needed a hobby or craft to occupy her time, but she continued to struggle with the idea that the young woman acted as if she did not care about her appearance.

Louise told Charlotte that Beatrice had found an article in some magazine she picked up on her honeymoon that said that failure to show interest in basic grooming skills was a sign of depression. Louise had told her that if that were the case, then depression might come in handy for Charlotte, who she knew was trying to save money, since blush and eye shadow could be quite expensive; and that Louise, in her entire life, had never worn makeup and she did not consider herself depressed. But Beatrice wasn't worried about Louise. She was worried about Charlotte.

In the last few months, the young preacher seemed to have folded within herself in a way that was subtle but still noticeable. She continued to do her work, preach, visit, all the things that were expected; but there was a distance in her conversations, a lack of focus that even Margaret had observed. She, of course, had said to let it alone, that Charlotte would discover her own way through this, but Beatrice was convinced that she could find something in her cosmetic bag that might help, even if just a little.

Charlotte picked up speed. The late morning sun poured into the car and she began to get warm, so she increased the volume of the air conditioner and turned the vents toward her, hoping the noise might also limit any further conversation.

Unlike Beatrice, she did not think of herself as depressed. She did not think she had changed. She knew that she felt more tired than usual, a little uninterested in things at hand. But she only thought she was overworked, called her lack of energy and her sleeplessness the result of too many appointments and a crazy schedule that recently had included late-night emergency calls to the hospital, three summer weddings, and now this, another suicide attempt by Nadine Klenner.

Since the accident and Brittany's death, Nadine had become broken and unhinged in a way that seemed completely hopeless. Nothing nor anyone was able to help. Her spiral down into despair started with the use of Valium and other prescribed drugs ...

Hope Springs
. Copyright (c) by Lynne Hinton . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.\

Table of Contents

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What People are Saying About This

Ann Howard Creel

“Hinton celebrates the power of women’s connections through a story about hope, loss, and the sometimes fragile nature of faith

Sue Monk Kidd

“Garden of Faith is a lovely novel filled with hope.”

Philip Gulley

“...a beautiful story grows side by side with powerful truth. It caused my soul to bloom.”

Brenda Jernigan

“With a loving eye for her characters, Lynne Hinton tells a gentle story of faith, healing and redemption.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard

“…an anthem to friendship….. To miss it is to deny yourself a small treasure.”

Suzann Ledbetter

“It’s a ‘giver’ readers will want to buy and share with mothers, daughters, sisters and special, forever friends.”

Lois Battle

“If books had a taste, this one would be the genuine tangy sweetness of a small homegrown strawberry.”

Loraine Despres

“For all those who loved Friendship Cake, Garden of Faith will be like a garden party with old friends.”

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

In this sequel to Friendship Cake, the same delightful women have finished the cookbook that brought them together, showing each the true meaning of friendship. Now these bonds are challenged by Margaret's sudden illness, Nadine's mourning for her lost daughter, and Jessie's desire to see the world outside the confines of a small town. Even Charlotte, the steadfast young pastor, has a spiritual crisis and finds herself questioning her calling. Standing by each other through tragedies and triumphs, these unforgettable women come to realize that true friendship, like faith itself, is a garden that needs to be tended and nurtured.

Questions for Discussion

  • Lynne Hinton has stated that her grandmother, to whom the book and the opening poem are dedicated, taught her to garden. Is there anyone in your life who taught you to love the earth? What does gardening mean to you?

  • Charlotte realizes that she doesn't have anything to offer her suicidal parishioner, Nadine. What do you consider an appropriate pastoral response to a person who attempted suicide?

  • The doctor is concerned about his patient Margaret when they discuss the findings from her mammogram. He wonders "what kind of support systems she had, what gave her purpose, and how well she could fight trouble." What are the resources you think a person needs when facing an illness?

  • Charlotte decides to see a therapist. What are your thoughts about a minister going into counseling?

  • Jessie discusses her desire to move from Hope Springs, her home town. Have you ever desired to live in a place other than where you live? Where would you choose to move and why?

  • Marion, Charlotte's therapist, asks the young pastor to tell how she thinks of God. How do you think of God? How comfortable are you with a feminine image of God?

  • Margaret, Louise, and Beatrice discuss what makes makes a woman, a woman. What are your thoughts about what distinguishes a woman from a man? Is it physical or emotional?

  • In order for Nadine to begin to heal regarding her loss she must forgive herself for what she considered her responsibility in the accident that killed her daughter. How does a person learn to forgive herself? What helps in encouraging the forgiveness of oneself?

  • Jessie realizes her fears that James will leave her again. Are you surprised that she took him back when she did? How does a couple who has separated and come back together regain the trust that was lost?

  • Why do you think the women decided to shave their heads? What displays of empathy and friendship have you experienced in your life? How important is friendship in facing illness?

  • Jessie and James decide to take a trip to Africa. What trip have you always wanted to take? Where would you go if you could go anywhere?

  • Since there's another book in the Hope Springs Trilogy, another book about the women in Hope Springs, what do you think might happen next? Which character would you like to know more about?\

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