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Shadows of Hope by Georgiana Daniels is one book you should definitely NOT judge by the cover! Though the cover and the description make it seem like this book will be an overly dramatic novel with a cliche ending, this book is actually an engaging and very well-written novel.
A story of hope in the aftermath of inconceivable betrayal and broken dreams
What if. . .
. . .you struggled with infertility but unknowingly befriended your husband’s pregnant mistress?
What if. . .
. . .the woman you were seeing behind your wife’s back gets pregnant, threatening your job and marriage?
What if. . .
. . .your boyfriend never told you he was married and you discover you’re pregnant?
Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around. But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope.
Since my review has spoilers, I’m going to do something a little different than I normally do for book reviews. Instead of posting content on both this blog and Goodreads, I am going to link to my Goodreads review which has the spoilers hidden.
I was a little skeptical about this book, but I’ve been meaning to read more fiction. Since I won an advanced review copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway, I figured the only thing I’d lose was time.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this book. It held my attention throughout the story, and there were several times where I was at the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I was also very impressed with the quality of character development. All the main characters had flaws and, and even the antagonist was shown to have some positive (though misguided) intents.
It would have been easy for her to criminalize Colin, but instead, she made an effort to show him trying to be a better husband.
(view spoiler)[I also appreciated that it didn’t result in the expected outcome: Marissa would end up with Tristan, Kaitlyn would end up with Colin, and everyone would be happy. Instead, the women changed their own lives, became stronger, and their happy ending didn’t rely on a romantic relationship.
Another stand-out to me was that Marissa sought treatment for her mental health from a variety of sources: her faith, healthier choices, and counseling were all explored. As a Christian who suffers from mental illness, I really appreciate that the author recognized that sometimes, medical intervention is needed in addition to spiritual health. (hide spoiler)]
Praises aside, there were a few things that bothered me. The book looks at the perspectives of Marissa, Colin, and Kaitlyn. Marissa’s sections are given from her point of view, but Colin and Katilyn’s were given from the view of a narrator. I would’ve preferred it all to be from a narrator’s perspective, or first-person for each character. Ultimately, it’s a personal preference, and it didn’t diminish my overall enjoyment of this book. I also felt the book got a little repetitive at times. My last criticism is that
(view spoiler)[the atheist in the story was the only one who didn’t really get a happy ending. I understand as Christian’s that we want to point out that life is better when you follow Christ, but we must remember that that might not be seen until after death. It’s possible for atheists to live every happy earthly lives, and I wish Colin could’ve at least been given a chance, even if it wasn’t as happy as the others. However, I do give the author major kudos for not using the angsty-atheist-converts trope. (hide spoiler)]
As for audience, this book does have some more mature themes, but there aren’t really any inappropriate scenes.
Overall, I felt like this was an interesting book that explored a dramatic topic without feeling like a soap opera. It had solid characters, and the flaws are minimal.