The Hope Within Hardcover – Large Print, Aug 2008
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About the Author
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 50 historical and contemporary novels including The Bells of Lowell and Heirs of Montana series. Her books appear regularly on CBA bestseller lists. She and her family make their home in Belgrade, Montana. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Cole wants to share his wife and children with his family for the first time ever, but when they arrive in Kansas, Diane and the children are treated worse than garbage. Dianne really tries, pulls more than her weight, but finally her strength is gone...and she is pregnant, unknown yet to Cole.
Cole has been harboring a secret fear of restarting the ranch back in Montana and feels it never really was his but Dianne's and more truly, Koko's and her children's.
In his tender moments, he tries to please all the women in his life and finds this is impossible and he loses the most important one. The reader is on their seat's edge for several pages.
So many things are drawn together in this book, we again see Trenton, Ardyth the pianist, the mean and cheating greedy neighbor rancher, the honor driven Indian who really loves Dianne but puts integrity over all...it is he and Koko who nurse Dianne through a near death experience... it seems the author is wrapping up this series.
Please, Tracie, don't leave us hanging.
The only aspect of this book that bothered me was the situation between Cole, his mother and sisters, and Diane. While Cole struggles to take care of his mother and be loyal to his wife at the same time, he really chooses his mother over his own family by making the decision to stay with his mother.
Diane is the one who lead Cole to Christ. He has known her and her faith for years; yet while they are living with Cole's mother, Cole seems to believe his mother, who curses God, over his own wife. The fact that he didn't see Diane hit his mother yet believes she actually could have seems a bit out of character.
Also, Diane later apologies to Cole for leaving his side, stating that a good Christian wife doesn't leave her husband's side, "no matter how ugly the situation." Cole's mother was abusing Cole and Diane's children! To allow that to continue in the name of being a "good Christian wife" is absurd. To not protect your children is not being a good Christian parent!
Other than this character flaw, the book is remarkable!
For most of the book I was crying right along with Dianne, angry at the treatment by her husband, Cole (no matter how honorable his intentions). However, the plot twists were still present with Mayra's unbelievable faith and outspokeness in her 'pursuit' of Zane. Peterson also left what seemed like an unlikely coupling from the beginning in the characters of Joshua and Ardith alone without any pressure. I went on to recommend this book to my mother, as she often encounters in-law 'issues' so to speak, so now she can compare the fictional in-laws to her own experiences.
I highly recommend this to anyone who has read the series, and for those that haven't, start at book 1 (from having started at book 3, trust me, you'll get more fun out of it!) but be sure to finish it out with this book! This is one of those classic books when you need a good cry.
Cole learns that his father Hallam is dying so he, Dianne and their children travel to Kansas to say their last respects starting with his dad meeting his wife and grandchildren for the first time and helping his mother Mary cope with her loss and work the farm. Upon completing the trek, Mary sets the tone greeting Dianne about never visiting when her spouse was healthy. After Hallam dies, Mary pressures Cole to run the family farm he inherited while remaining nasty towards his wife and children; Dianne decides to end her cruelty to her grandchildren by taking them with her and going home though it means deserting her husband.
The final inspirational historical novel in the Heirs of Montana quartet, THE HOPE WITHIN, is a terrific family drama that vividly portrays late nineteenth century life on the Great Prairie especially in Montana and Kansas. The story line is character and geographical-climatic driven as the audience obtains a taste of the era through simple interwoven into the plot nuances; for instance Cole's parents and his wife and children never met before implies distance (communication and transportation). Fans will cherish the finale as the extended cast provides depth and Dianne sees hope that her husband will come back to her and their children as THE HOPE WITHIN her remains strong because of her belief in God.
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