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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum
Publisher: Westside Books
genre: Contemporary, YA
Heat: Sweet
Length: Full Length (312 pgs)
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Cholla

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Asher has spent half of her life living in fear. Her stepfather has been sexually abusing her for years, but her mother doesn't believe her. After his latest assault lands her in the emergency room, Child Protective Services finally removes Ashley from her home, and sends her to live with the father she barely remembers and his new family. Her new life in Patience, Texas, is much better. She's in therapy to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is trying to make her way in a new high school. She's getting used to living with her father, stepmother, and stepbrother, and she's made new friends in the summer course taught by her stepmother, Bev. She even joins the track team at the urging of her new African American friend, Z. Z. But Ashley is so traumatized by her past that she sometimes scratches herself until she bleeds and sleeps in her armoire, even though she knows she's safe now. Worse, when her stepfather is finally put on trial for hurting her, she learns that truth and justice don't always go together. Will Ashley adjust to a better life? Will she trust enough to date Josh, the cute guy on her track team who likes her? YA readers will be caught up in the heart-pounding story of a damaged girl trying to heal herself and get on with the rest of her life.

Ashley Asher never had a chance to live a normal life. From the moment her mother married Charlie, her stepfather, when she was eight, her life became an utter horror story. Ashley’s repeated molestation at the hands of her stepfather reaches a breaking point when he attacks her and she’s finally, blessedly removed from his home and returned to her rightful father, one she hasn’t seen since she was an infant. With the help of her father, her stepmother, and her half-brother, Ashley’s given the task of healing all the hurt and discovering what a normal life is all about.

From the very beginning, I was amazed and shocked by Ashley. That she was able to survive through such abuse is amazing in itself, but to come through as well as she did is even more amazing. She strives to become a better person, to put it all behind her, and get on with her life, even if she has no idea where to start. Her struggles are real and relatable, even if you’ve never been in her situation. And if you have had that awful misfortune, then you are sure to find a common ground with Ashely. With the loving help of her new family, new friends at school, and the unwavering spirit of one badly broken girl, she finds a light at the end of the tunnel… and a little hope in Patience, Texas.

Hope in Patience is an emotionally charged story that opens your eyes to the horrors of the world while also reassuring you that there is happiness despite the darkness. It reaffirms the power of faith, love and family, giving you reason to believe that those that truly love you will never ever give up on you, no matter how many reasons you may give them to. With the added knowledge that the author is also a survivor of childhood abuse, you cannot help but be moved and outraged by this story. But have faith, because your heart will also be lifted by the strength of this one young girl and her courage to make things right. As difficult of a subject as this is, Hope in Patience is a story that you cannot turn away from. And you’ll never regret the time you spent with Ashley Asher and her small town home.