Friday, November 12

Review: Hope In Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

Title: Hope In Patience
By: Beth Fehlbaum
Publisher: Westside Books
(October 27th, 2010)
My Copy: Review Copy Provided by Westside Books
BookWhisperer Rating:

Book Description:
Fifteen-year-old Ashley Asher has spent half of her life living in fear. Her stepfather has been sexually abusing her for years, but her mother doesn't believe her. After his latest assault lands her in the emergency room, Child Protective Services finally removes Ashley from her home, and sends her to live with the father she barely remembers and his new family. Her new life in Patience, Texas, is much better. She's in therapy to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is trying to make her way in a new high school. She's getting used to living with her father, stepmother, and stepbrother, and she's made new friends in the summer course taught by her stepmother, Bev. She even joins the track team at the urging of her new African American friend, Z. Z. But Ashley is so traumatized by her past that she sometimes scratches herself until she bleeds and sleeps in her armoire, even though she knows she's safe now. Worse, when her stepfather is finally put on trial for hurting her, she learns that truth and justice don't always go together. Will Ashley adjust to a better life? Will she trust enough to date Josh, the cute guy on her track team who likes her? YA readers will be caught up in the heart-pounding story of a damaged girl trying to heal herself and get on with the rest of her life.

Hope in Patience is a brutally honest story about one young girl survival from a life of abuse. This story was truely an eye opening experience for me. While my career has allowed me knowledge about tragic crimes. I was not aware of the struggle to survive after such a crime. Ashley Asher is the main character that has experience a life of sexual abuse at the hand of her step father Charlie. Ashley is a very strong child, but it is amazing to see the loyalty that this child holds for her mother after a life of rejection. It is astounding to me that parents like this exist. It is a dispicable act for a parent to ignore the cries of their own children to keep a man or a woman. Furthermore, it is sickening that children are living in situations like this everyday. One thing I must note was I found a portion of this story a bit confusing. After Ashley is removed from the situation the story jumps to the trial for Charlie in the breaking of Ashley's arm; at no point in the story does it tell the reader why it is that Charlie got off on the original charges. This young girl was raped and sexual abused for years how in the hell does that not spell out GUILTY. I wish that the story filled the reader in on why this perpetrator was released from that charge in the first place. Even though I found this to be confusing it did not change the outcome of this story or really vary my feeling toward this book. I wish I had a little bit more information, but I love the story regardless. I am grateful for parents like David and Bev. Ashley's post trauma character is very unstable and confused;  parents such as these are hard to come by, but the truth is their are people this wonderful. I feel that they are the saviors of this story, and without them Ashley would have had not progressed as quickly or as drastically by the end of this boo.  Especially Bev being a bit of an outsider, not being Ashley blood relative, she seemed to recieve the majority of negativity from Ashley. Throughout, it all not once did she give up or lash out. She was a constant supporter of Ashley, and I feel her life saver. All in all this is a story of a SURVIVOR. It is empowering and an eye opening experience that I truely enjoyed.

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