From Publishers Weekly
An assured if overly emotive storyteller, Hinton (Friendship Cake)
spins the tragic tale of Olivia Jacobs, beginning with Olivia's unexplained appearance at the North Carolina home of her grown daughter, Alice, whom she abandoned decades earlier at a day-care center. When elderly Olivia dies just three weeks after suddenly reentering her daughter's life, Alice, raised in a series of foster homes but now the single mother of a 10-year-old daughter, is left to unlock the mystery of her mother's life from a scrapbook of clues. The bulk of the novel chronicles Olivia's Depression-era childhood and adolescence in rural Smoketown, N.C., the uneasy fringe between two enclaves—one black, one white—where racial tension, violence and fear intrude like choke weed. Olivia's marginalized and impoverished white family—including her neglectful single mother, Mattie, and older brother, Roy—is treated kindly by their African-American neighbors. Olivia and Tree, the girl next door, bridge the racial divide with friendship, but violence and misunderstanding shatter their lives. Olivia's story affords Alice a deeper understanding of both her errant mother and herself. Addressing love, faith, friendship and race, Hinton delivers an overwrought but satisfying apologia for Olivia.
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"Lynne Hinton is a born storyteller, here at the top of her form, writing with compassion and understanding."
Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
"Through memorable characters and lovely language, Lynne Hinton tells a story of forgiveness and personal transformation with remarkable grace and skill."
Ann Howard Creel, author of The Magic of Ordinary Days
"Beautifully written and captivating from the very first line, The Arms of God is one of Lynne Hinton's best novels yet. Long after the last page has been turned, the characters will continue to linger in the minds of all who read this haunting story.
Michael Morris, author of Slow Way Home
"Everyone who has read and enjoyed Lynne Hinton's books, will love The Arms of God. This lovely book will add to her roster of fans. Moving and touching and everything a good book should be."
Philip Gulley, author of the Harmony series
"Lynne Hinton has gifted us with a wondrous novel. Sit at the feet of her characters and learn from them. Love and grief, truth and courage bloom wildly in the garden of their lives. Read this book slowly--like a prayer book. The poetry of these words will sing to you and anoint your soul with every page your turn. Do not deprive yourself of The Arms of God."
Macrina Wiederkehr, author of Gold in Your Memories
"If you thought you had Lynne Hinton pegged as a novelist, think again. The Arms of God is a stunning leap for what was already a gifted storyteller. Hinton gives us the profoundly moving story of a woman searching for the soul of the mother who abandoned her years ago -- and finding, in the journey, frighteningly dark places and, ultimately, understanding and forgiveness. The characters are compelling, the writing graceful. You won't find a better book than this anytime soon."
Robert Inman, author of Captain Saturday and Dairy Queen Days.