Monday, December 13, 2010

Her Mother's Hope

Her Mother's Hope is a two-book saga that chronicles mother and daughter stories within two generations.  I think this would be an excellent mother-daughter reading discussion!

This book begins in Marta's young life, the daughter of a poor tailor and seamstress in Switzerland.  While she has a horrible relationship with her father, Marta is extremely close to her mother and little sister.  As Marta grows up, her mother encourages her to do and be all that she can be, even though Marta's father is determined to squash whatever hopes and dreams she might have...which include completing school and going on to college.  Both Marta's mother and little sister are much weaker-spirited than her and while Marta is away tragedies occur that prevent her from coming home (and to their aid).

Guilt-ridden Marta moves on with her life.  Throughout the bulk of the first half of this book you learn about Marta's young adulthood, traveling around the world and becoming the strong-willed woman she embodies.  A lot of her ferocity and desire for life is due to her younger home-life...her aspiration to be unlike her father and stronger than her mother.

The second part of this book begins to chronicle the life of Hildie, Marta's oldest daugther.  Even though they look very much alike, Hildie is very different from her mother...she is much more soft-spoken and has a heart to serve others.  Marta is afraid this is a sign of weakness and is abhorred that Hildie will have the same fate as Marta's mother and sister.  So, Marta is determined to give Hildie "tough love" so this does not happen.  All the while, Hildie has no idea why her mother appears to favor her siblings....buying them whatever their hearts desire, while refusing to help Hildie in her dream to become a nurse.  In the end, Hildie runs off to become a nurse anyway...and meets the love of her life.  Through all of this, none of Marta's children ever know where she came from, why she is the way she is or why she treats each of them the way she does...especially Hildie.

This book concludes with Marta discovering that Hildie might, perhaps, not understand her mother's intentions all this time...and is dreading the idea that Hildie might feel the same way about her that Marta felt about her father.  Of course, this was never Marta's intent...

The sequel to this two-part story is Her Daughter's Dream...  I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to finish this story!

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