Title: Hope Beyond the Waves
Author: Heidi Chiavaroli
Major Themes: Teen Pregnancy, Leprosy, Abuse
Synopsis: When Emily finds herself in a very difficult situation and is sent off by her parents to live with her grandmother where none of their acquaintances will see her, she learns about a great-aunt who also found herself in a difficult situation—and finds hope for her own future.
I was not overly interested in Hope Beyond the Waves when I first saw the sign-up for a review copy, but more reviewers were needed, so I signed up. I had heard a few good things about Heidi Chiavaroli’s books, but my idea of her writing was pretty vague. The synopsis looked interesting, so I decided to give this book a try, not expecting much—and was I ever surprised!
There are two stories woven into one in this book. Emily lives in 1993, and after making a big mistake with life-changing consequences, she is sent by her parents, who seem to care more about their public image than about their daughter, to live with her grandmother for the summer. Soon after arriving, Emily discovers an old photograph that tells her there is more to her grandmother than she imagined. As her grandmother slowly tells her an old story, and she learns to know an intriguing boy who lives in her grandmother’s town, Emily learns more about herself, her past, and where she is going.
Atta, who in 1916 is a young woman on the cusp of marriage to the man of her dreams, suddenly finds her life turned upside down when the local doctor diagnoses her with a terrible malady and she is exiled to Penikese Island. Her main life focus had been protecting her little sister from their abusive father, but now Gertie is at his mercy. Atta puts her trust in Harry, the young doctor who is working on the island trying to find a cure for the people there—but where should her trust ultimately be placed?
Both of these stories—Atta’s and Emily’s—kept me spellbound. I didn’t want to put Hope Beyond the Waves down! Both of these girls faced very difficult situations, and both had to come to the point of trusting God and not man. Both had to learn to forgive and love those who had wronged them. This book is very well-written. The author kept me guessing about the ending until near the end of the book; several times, I found myself surprised by a twist I hadn’t expected. I enjoyed the humor in the story, too, and very much agreed with Sam’s opinion, “Thou shalt not watch a movie based off a book without first reading said book.” I appreciated the historical note at the end of the book. A lot of research was done to write this one! This is my first book by Heidi Chiavaroli, but it won’t be the last!
I received a review copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Chapter 1: Heck. Chapter 3: kissing, someone cursed. Chapter 4: blast, for Pete’s sake. Chapter 5: biggest d-bag in school. Chapter 13: heck, a man punched in the nose. Chapter 31: try like the dickens, had a heck of a time. Chapter 33: blasted day. Chapter 34: boy seducing a girl, someone committing suicide. Chapter 36: what in tarnation, a father telling son to take a mistress, girl trying to seduce a man.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults