Monday, September 28, 2020

Hopeful Family Secrets Novel Thought-Provoking and Touching

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Reporter Elizabeth Balsam will do anything to break a huge story about a local politician's secret involvement in the 1967 Detroit race riots.  Her dodgy methods don't get her the scoop, however; they get her sacked.  Finding herself with a lot of extra time on her hands all of the sudden, Elizabeth decides to follow up on an odd request from a stranger who asks her to deliver an old camera and a stack of photos to a relative she's never met.  Her curiosity is piqued by her visit to Lapeer County, Michigan, where Elizabeth meets Nora Balsam, her great aunt, for the first time.  It's clear from the get-go that Nora is hiding a very intriguing story.  Her journalistic Spidey senses tingling, Elizabeth determines to uncover her family's secrets.  What she finds is a startling tale of love, strength, resilience, courage, tragedy, and a past that isn't nearly as distant as one would think ... 

I'm a sucker for books about family secrets, especially those that stretch back through the generations.  We Hope for Better Things, a debut novel by Erin Bartels, fits that bill perfectly.  It tells a surprising tale that's full of action, romance, mystery, history, and more.  The book is populated with likable, sympathetic characters.  They're all flawed, imperfect people who struggle through challenges, make mistakes, and yearn for redemption.  Plot-wise, this novel is engaging and compelling.  Although We Hope for Better Things is a Christian novel (it won a Christy Award last year), it's more inspirational than preachy.  Overall, it's an appealing story that is clean, uplifting, thought-provoking, and timely.  I enjoyed it very much.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of novels by Susan Meissner and Lisa Wingate)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and mild sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of We Hope For Better Things from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

4 comments:

  1. I do love a good family secrets story and this sounds intriguing. I hadn't come across this one before but I'm adding this to my TBR!

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  2. Living right across the river from Detroit and being able to see the smoke from the riots, this book calls to me. You have definitely piqued my interest.

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  3. I just finished this book on audio, and I kept finding reasons to be busy so I could keep listening!

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  4. I like the combination of family secrets, long lost relatives, and a journalist who follows a story. Sounds good.

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