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on March 2, 2017
The author did a nice job of keeping my attention as she skillfully wove the lives of Emily and her great-grandmother across time in her novel. Both primary characters became quite real to me. I loved the ending w/r to how Emily integrated her miscarriages into redemptive suffering for her great-grandmother.
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on June 21, 2015
What an inspiring read! A truly beautiful story – refreshing, uplifting and quite astonishing in its resemblance to the real life story of the author and her great-grandmother. I believe it would be difficult to persist in prejudices against Catholic teachings on marriage and sexuality once reading this novel. The unfolding of Emily’s life is a profound example of the joy that prevails in someone who embraces Christ’s teachings, as well as fortitude and forbearance in the face of great sorrows.

The story of Emily’s great-grandmother Kathryn (woven into the novel and told around Emily’s story) is that of a woman who entirely lacks the joy in Emily’s own life through rejection of all the good that Emily has embraced. But even this is over come through the hope that triumphs when prayer, faith and love break down the barriers of sin and even of time to bring Jesus’ healing and redemption. There is much good the reader will take away with them from reading Emily’s Hope.
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on March 2, 2012
A couple of other reviews claimed the writing was amateurish, but I did not see that. I am no literary expert, though, just a mom looking for a good story. In my humble opinion, this book was well written and very engaging. I absolutely loved how the story switched between Emily's life and her grandmother's. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and did not find it preachy. It made me look at my marriage in a different light, and discern again whether God would be calling us to more children. I found the writing open, honest, and genuine. I felt I could greatly relate to Emily as a teenager. It was a great read, and I would highly recommend it.

On a side note, I would just like to add NFP is NOT the same thing as rhythm method. Rhythm method is counting days between cycles, and really only women with very regular cycles can use this method. NFP is a scientific approach to knowing one's fertile period based on several indicators, that anyone can read, regardless of cycle regularity.
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on November 5, 2009
"Emily's Hope," by Ellen Gable, is a fascinating and poignant story about two women separated by years but bound by painful family ties. Their life experiences are similar, yet strikingly different.

At the start, petite seventeen-year-old Emily is a student looking for love and going along with modern attitudes despite the resulting conflict with her Catholic faith. This 353 page book is a fascinating journey through Emily's emotional life as she makes many mistakes, marries for love, experiences tragedy, and uncovers a dark secret from her family's past. Through it all, Emily grows in maturity and faith in a believable way, and the reader grows to love Emily while identifying with her trials and tribulations.

The story of Emily's great-grandmother, Katherine, is interspersed skillfully throughout, and gives a disturbing picture of Katherine's hard but selfish life. The consequences of her choices affect so many innocent souls, bur her heart is hardened to the truth, and the reader wonders if there is any hope for Katherine.

Keep in mind that it is certainly not a novel for children or young teens. Many unsavory situations arrive in the course of the story, such as pre-marital sex, suicide, infidelity, and abortion. These things are not used gratuitously, but are essential to the plot, illustrating the far-reaching consequences of such actions. Also, the novel promotes saving sex for marriage and frowns on contraception.

The author obviously put her heart and soul into the writing.

In conclusion, "Emily's Hope" is an absorbing novel with many admirable messages. The characters are vivid, the story engaging, and it may move you to tears while inspiring you.

Reviewed by:
Therese Heckenkamp
Author of "Past Suspicion"
and Reviewer for:
and Ivory Tower Press
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on February 16, 2016
Brave attempt by the author to explain the precepts of her faith, but the writing wasn't well executed. It came off as very preachy and as an attempt to showcase morality at the expense of writing an engaging story. I'm an NFP practicing Catholic woman who has been active in the pro life movement, so I'm sympathetic to the point the author is trying to make, I just don't think it was well executed.
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on May 14, 2016
Half-historical novel, half-contemporary, this novel set in Philadelphia, PA indicts the abortion and birth-control industries by examining their impacts on the characters' lives. It is all the more horrifying when you realize that not much has changed in 100 years--"back-alley" clinics still exist in Philadelphia and still cost women their lives.
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on November 12, 2014
Emily's Hope was an extremely honest look at love and relationships from a young Catholic woman's point of view. I was surprised by the level of sincerity which came through the story. For those readers open to a Catholic perspective, there is a lot to discover and be comforted by here.
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on August 6, 2014
The characters drew me in from the beginning. While Katharine was not a sympathetic character, I found myself routing for her to reform. Her lack of redeeming qualities was balanced by Jason who is impeccable. Emily's spiritual search and her discoveries are universal: search for God, and the value of human life starting from conception.
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on September 5, 2005
A challenging book. Certainly not because I couldn't get in to it, but in regard to the clear message that comes through challenging those who may be sitting on the fence with their views on LIFE, FAMILY, and FIDELITY.

As a father of five young children and a CCL certified teacher of NFP, I am grateful for the character development that was so griping and true-to-life. It will be an excellent read for my children when they're older and being prepared for not only the 'real world', but in discerning what God would like them to do with their lives and how they will be learning to embrace all, not just some, of God's commandments to live a moral and upstanding life to the best of their ability.

I highly recommend this book to any parent, and to any teenager.
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on September 26, 2017
Good book
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