Contemporary Fiction Book Review: Where Hope Begins

Publisher's Description

"Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations."

My Review

Where Hope Begins, by Catherine West, tells a realistic and emotionally poignant story of a family’s journey through serious loss, rejection, and grief. At times the story is heavy with extremely raw emotions and very painful truths. Yet, this journey through and beyond despair and heartache is significantly strengthened and uplifted by meaningful moments of grace and gentle reminders that hope, restoration, healing, and reconciliation are made possible through God’s mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love. 

I found Where Hope Begins to be gripping and authentic. It is a deeply moving and thoughtfully written novel that touched me through its skillful use of relatable characters, homey settings, meaningful themes, and excellent pacing. Ms. West is truly an excellent storyteller. She is unflinching when it comes to crafting relevant stories that need to be told. Once again, she has written a thoroughly compelling work of contemporary inspirational fiction that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all adult readers.

My Reflection

Where Hope Begins is not an easy, light-hearted read. This powerful novel deftly explores issues and emotions that are related to very difficult experiences, including infidelity, divorce, depression, suicide, and terminal illness. There are no easy solutions or quick fixes for the characters in this story. They must grapple honestly with the consequences of their choices, their mistakes, their expectations, and their insecurities. They must bravely pursue the answers to tough questions, and they must fight desperately to grasp the healing and the hope that might be found within their heartbreak. But it is within that search for hope and healing that the significant themes of this novel manage to encourage and inspire. The characters persevere. They carry on. They accept help when needed. They seek forgiveness. They fight for redemption. And in so doing, they become an inspiration, and their story becomes one of encouragement and hope. They show that even though life can be very hard, and trials can befall anyone, God’s strength, grace, and forgiveness are always available to make the process of healing and restoration possible.

About the Author

"Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at" --Biography from Catherine West's author page on

Click here to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself. 

*I was given a copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.


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