Monday, October 4, 2010

Mothers and Daughters

Reviewed by Phee Paradise

Her Daughter’s Dream
By Francine Rivers

The mistakes of the mothers are visited on the daughters – to paraphrase scripture. Francine Rivers develops this theme well in Her Daughter’s Dream. Four generations of mothers and their daughters are estranged because they don’t know how to express love. It’s a book about hurting and healing.

We first see it in glimpses of Marta, through letters she writes to a close friend. She agonizes over how hard she was on her sickly daughter Hildemara, believing it would make her strong. But it also estranged her.

We then briefly see Hildemara’s pain when she is too ill to care for her own family. She fears tha
t her mother will take over her life and she’ll lose her daughter’s love.

From there, the first half of the book is told from Carolyn’s point of view. As a child of three, she doesn’t understand why she can’t be close to her mother who has tuberculosis. Instead she forms a lifelong bond with her grandmother. Not understanding her mother’s fears, she only sees her as cold and unloving.

For mo
st of the last half of the book we see the problem perpetuated in Dawn’s life. Due to the circumstances of her birth, she bonds with her grandmother, Hildemara, and believes her mother, Carolyn is cold and unloving. But when she spends a week with Marta, her great-grandmother, she gains understanding that helps her break the cycle.

Rivers is a master story teller and this synopsis doesn’t do justice to the fascinating story of these four women. She tells Carolyn’s story like a rock skipping across
a lake, jumping across months and even years, with pauses on the critical moments of her life. We get to know Carolyn intimately and feel her pain, but we also see beyond her to the two women who hurt and protect her. On the other hand, Rivers skips quickly through Dawn’s childhood, then rests on her teen years, where the healing for all of them begins.

Even though the story is about the women, Rivers has also created men who have an important role in their lives. Their husbands and brothers love them and try to meliorate the hurt, although they don’t completely understand it. And the love of God hovers over all of them, as He patiently waits for them to come to Him for the cure only He can provide.

I suppose this book was written for women, but I would place it in the good literature category and recommend it to anyone who enjoys universal themes of love and hope. It's a sequel to Her Mother's Hope, but you will not need to read the first to enjoy the second.

Pros: Well written story, deep themes of hurting, healing and love and wonderful characters make it a must read for everyone.

ut the Book:

In the dramatic conclus
ion to the New York Times best seller Her Mother’s Hope, comes this rich and deeply moving story about the silent sorrows that can tear a family apart and the grace and forgiveness that can heal even the deepest wounds. Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War. College offers Carolyn the chance to find herself, but a family tragedy shatters her newfound independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of San Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly turns to her family to help rebuild a life for her and her own daughter, May Flower Dawn. Just like Carolyn, May Flower Dawn develops a closer bond with her grandmother, Hildie, than with her mother, causing yet another rift between generations. But as Dawn struggles to avoid the mistakes of those who went before her, she vows that somehow she will be a bridge between the women in her family rather than the wall that separates them forever. Spanning from the 1950s to present day, Her Daughter’s Dream is the emotional final chapter of an unforgettable family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter—and the very nature of unconditional love.

About the author:

Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books, and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid- 1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association’s top-selling titles and it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes – all bestsellers-- and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous awards including the Rita Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third Rita award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers’ of America Hall of Fame. Francine’s novels have been translated into over twenty different languages and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries including Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa.

Francine and her husband Rick live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their five grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

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