Tag-Archive for » Francine Rivers «

Her Daughter’s Dream: A Review

Her Daughter’s Dream is the second book in the series by Francine Rivers. This book follows Marta from the first book until her death, Hildemara from the first book until she’s in her 90’s, Hildemara’s daughter Carolyn, Carolyn’s daughter May Flower Dawn and then finally, her daughter, Faith. As you can see that’s quite a lot of daughters and the book pretty much brings everything up to the current age.

It leaves off exactly where the previous book ends so I’d actually recommend making sure you’ve got this book sitting in the tbr pile when you start the first one. Francine Rivers seems to be the kind of person who likes doing that with her series books. I had the same problem with her Mark of the Lion trilogy.

I actually prefered the sequel in this case as well. I don’t know for sure if it was because the more modern lives of Carolyn and Dawn were easier to relate to or they just made more mistakes growing up similar to mine but I found I empathised with the two of them more than I had with the previous two. This book also managed to make me cry at several points, very suddenly at one point too. Having a box of tissues handy while reading may well be very wise.

With the conflict between the first two women and the resulting conflict it causes between the next two I admit I was expecting some kind of working through or a resolution at some point during the two books and I wasn’t dissapointed. Although it wasn’t possible to entirely resolved everyone with everyone, (five generations can’t all easily live at once) they did manage to sneak in a few well thought through plot points to make sure Hildemara understood Marta did love her.

While both books focus more on the females of the family than the males there is still some story around the relationships each woman has with their husbands. Some of those men sure had to put up with a lot as well. I felt sorry for them on more than one occasion. They didn’t help either though in some cases. A lot of them had quite the desire to sign up for the military in some way or another. With all the other issues the girls faced it made quite a few of them worse.

Over all I’d be very surprised if Francine Rivers didn’t manage to touch on at least one issue most daughters have with their mothers. There were quite a lot of relationship struggles and misunderstandings and with any luck readers will be able to look at their own relationships in a fresh light. Misunderstandings are sometimes so easy to form and so hard to get rid of.

Her Mother’s Hope: A Review

Her Mother’s Hope is the first of two books in a series by Francine Rivers.

It follows the journey of Marta from age 12 up until about 55 as well as following her daughter for a good chunk of the story. Marta starts off living in Switzerland with her mother father and younger sister and then moves from there to England via france and then Canada for a few years before finally settling with the entire family she has by then in California. Her life is far from easy and it takes the girl/woman a lot of guts to do many of the things she eventually does.

Her daughter, Hildemara, is almost the exact opposite of Marta and this is where a lot of the later story focuses. All the failing Marta saw in her family growing up, and in herself to some degree, are not wanted for her daughter and as such she pushes Hildemara to be something she’s not. I really don’t think this is anything that new as I think 90% of my friends get pushed by their parents in directions that from their point of view aren’t helpful but from their parents point of view are. It’s just one of those things of life.

What I did find gave it a fresh viewpoint though was how Francine Rivers managed to make you relate to not just the mother or the daughter but to both. You could see that they both wanted what was best for each other and that most of the time it was all just misunderstanding. Because they didn’t talk enough about life, misunderstanding led to hurt, which led to walls going up, which led to more misunderstandings etc, and the cycle went on.

I got to the end of the book and I just wanted to sit them both down and make them talk about their lives to each other, so both would understand that the other loved them, despite not always showing it in the right way. It also made me think, maybe I should take a bit mroe time next time I’m with close family and just make sure that they know I care.

As Sure As The Dawn: A Review

As Sure As The Dawn is the third and final book in the Mark Of The Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.

The third book follows one of the more minor characters from the first two parts. Atretes, the German from the Chatti tribe who was taken from his village and forced to be a gladiator, is the main character with the Christian widow, Rizpah as his love interest. It starts off in Ephesus, not long after Atretes has finally won his freedom. Atretes and Rizpah intitally do not like each other very much but they have a common bond, which eventually soothes their relationship, in the form of Atretes son, Caleb. Rizpah is employed as his wet nurse.

They then set out on the very long journey from Ephesus, to Germany and the Chatti tribe. Both characters have a very different approach to travelling and they clash frequently. This often results in Atretes getting the whole family into some kind of danger and then having to be rescued from it by one of the other Christians in the travelling group. Both characters are quite hot tempered and stubborn and it causes many interesting moments for them both.

As it is usually with Francine Rivers, the locations were very accurately and stunningly described and all her research was very well done. I also found these characters even easier to relate to, especially Rizpah. There was something about the way she thought, felt and her reaction to Atrete’s temper that I could understand. I may have had something in common with her stubbornness too, just maybe.

For me the magic was very much in the ending of this book though. It was very well written with plenty of unexpected but fitting twists and turns. I gobbled the book up very late one evening and couldn’t go to sleep until I had finished it.

Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars for this one.

 

An Echo In The Darkness: A Review

An Echo In The Darkness is the second book in the Mark Of The Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.

This book continues to explore the characters in the first book, picking up where the previous book left off, almost to the exact second. There are a few more characters introduced but mostly it follows all the well established characters from the first (The ones that haven’t died already anyway).

In this second book there is a distinct emphasis on the characters finally realising their flaws and doing something to sort them out. Marcus and Julia are impacted by this especially and it’s incredibly easy to emphathise with them as they try to figure out what is the right way to do things and get themselves into some more scrapes and messes along the way.

I was pleased to find in this second book the references to God were again a little more natural and in keeping with the plot as it ran forward. It also had a much better ending if a little unsatisfying in some ways it tied up the loose ends. It did leave me wondering what the third book would actually be about, however, as 95% of the characters now had their happy ever after.

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5

A Voice In The Wind: A Review

A voice in the wind is the first book in the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.

The books are set in the Roman empire in approximately 70AD and the first book mostly follows the life of a Christian girl called Hadassah as her family are killed and most of Jerusalem is destroyed. It then follows her journey as a slave to the Roman Valerian family and her struggles as a Christian in their very self centered lives.

For the most part I enjoyed this book. It’s a very endearing journey to see Hadassah learn to love others and find her place despite the tumultus beginning to her life. I also found I couldn’t help feeling her respect and love for the older children in the Valerian family, Julia and Marcus, despite their large flaws.

Francine Rivers is very good at painting her characters in a very real light making them easily relatable to. Although many of the characters have a very obvious flaw or two I was impressed with how they dealt with them and how everyone managed to grow somewhat by the end of the book.

I did find the plotting a little slow, with the odd over zealous reference to God and scripture, almost as if it was a little forced in. I think it got better as the book went on, however, as the situations the characters faced, gave more of a reason to mention their reliance on the dieties they believed in.

My biggest problem I had was with the ending. I was extremely glad I had the second of the trilogy to hand and I strongly recommend that anyone who reads this book immediately reads the first part of the next one.

Without spoiling the plot, I found the characters in a situation at the end that implied one thing and then found this not to be true on reading the first chapter of the next book. I think I would have infinitely prefered it had it not implied one way or the other at the end of the first book.

Over all I give the book 4 out of 5