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on December 2, 2014
I love long books and I love series. I enjoy staying with characters and seeing them through any and everything. This novel offers quite the opportunity to watch the characters grow and though it does drag once in awhile, it is beautiful and worth every page. I didn't realize what a saga the book was- taking two different women from childhood through to adulthood while also maintaining a colorful and interesting cast of minor characters is quite a feat. I loved the worldwide scope of Marta's experiences and I was deeply moved by Hilde and her quiet grace. But mostly I love that Jesus is at the center of this book. We get to see these characters grow in faith, walk with The Lord, struggle and fall and fail and pray... I feel like I've gotten to see Jesus's heart in all of these characters.

I listened to most of this on a car trip and I think that made it seem longer than it would had I been reading the whole thing. If you like family dramas, then don't miss it. If you are looking for immediate mystery or romance or resolution or conflict, then perhaps give it a pass. All of that is in there, to a degree, but it's slow-burning and secondary to the story as a whole.
5 people found this helpful
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on March 22, 2014
Marta had a very hard life growing up with an abusive father. Still, she knew her mother loved her very much. She felt her mother had made serious mistakes with her younger sister and she did not want her daughter to grow up like the weaker sister had. But Hildemara was not the same person her sister had been, and Marta was not the same as her mother. She never let this child see her softer side, never showed her love and compassion, thinking to make her strong. In spite of the flawed character of the protagonist the book is excellent reading, as all of Francine Rivers books are. The period of history is very sensitively handled. Characterization is good. It is a nice, long book, which I like. I just wish that mother had had a little more heart! I cannot imagine one being that harsh, no matter how tough she wanted her daughter to become! Fortunately she turns to God for help with love in the end. I would recommend this book to everyone, men and women.
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on May 1, 2018
This is the first book in a series and the ending is a cliff hanger for the next book. I really enjoyed the first book but only gave it 4 stars because I don't like a book with cliff hangers that mean I need to buy the next one to get answers. I probably WILL buy the next one, the story line is that good; but don't like being pressured to. Loved the characters and enjoyed inviting them into my living room every night to see what would happen to them next. Very engaging story line and sad when the book was finished.
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on November 30, 2015
Short version: This book (if you also read the second book) may help you gain perspective in how differences in perception of events can drive people apart, but the books are not the quality of writing you would expect from Francine Rivers.

Longer version:
I love Francine Rivers, but the Martha's Legacy series is so below par, I found myself wondering if someone else was writing using her name.

I loved Redeeming Love! I feasted on the Mark of the Lion series. But as I began this book, I found the writing so superficial, I made it several chapters before I was fully convinced that they weren't intended as a mere background introduction to the real story. Actually, this whole book was a mere background for a story, that gets better (but never fully good) in the second book.

So, if you don't plan to read the second book, I wouldn't even bother with this one. And, if you can't enjoy a story told in an overly cursory, rushed way, I wouldn't bother with either.

These books would have been so much better if Ms. Rivers would have invested the length the stories deserved. Instead, they jump through huge events in the protagonists' lives and the reader doesn't get to be a part of their transformation and adventures. It's told like someone would speak such a story to you as gossip - with only just enough detail to keep going and get to the next point in the big picture story.

Putting that criticism aside, I did actually appreciate the story quite a bit (indeed it makes it all the more a shame to not have it told well). The big story is of generational wounds, told by telling the smaller stories of the lives of four generations of women. The women are interesting, realistic characters, the conflict in their family has at its essence the truth many of us have experienced in our own lives. So, it was thought-provoking towards the end of book two. But at the end of this book (book 1), I was entirely unsatisfied, felt that no story had really been told, and briefly wondered if Amazon had sold me an abridged version by mistake.
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on July 2, 2011
Francine Rivers has done it again! She has written another book that will become a classic! When I got this book, I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours! What a great read! Her Mother's Hope and its sequel, Her Daughter's Dream cover five generations of a family from their start in Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century to life in the western USA in the present day.
Her Mother's Hope opens with Marta, a young woman with an abusive father and a weak mother, leaving her home to work in a hotel, then traveling to England and later to Canada. Marta meets and marries her husband Niclas and they move to California and raise their 4 children between the two world wars. While Niclas lives to work the land, Marta must raise their children. Because she has learned only the strong survive, she parents with tough love. Her daughter Hildemara is very different from Marta and constantly seeks but doesn't feel she's getting Marta's approval. Thus there is a great conflict and constant misunderstanding between these two.
Rivers' book captures the reader and leaves the reader wanting more, but she delivers in the sequel, Her Daughter's Dream. Both of these books in Marta's Legacy series are amazing books that are sure to please!
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on November 27, 2017
I loved the storyline Hooked me from the beginning. The author drew me in with her raw relationships between Marta and her mother and then Marta with her own daughter. She finally realizes what she has done at the closing of this book. I cannot wait to read 2nd final book to see if she is able to repair the relationship with God's hello!
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on April 25, 2011
I didn't enjoy this book to the extent I have others France Rivers has written. I generally enjoy almost every aspect of her books. This book has true parts about her family, she has pictures of her & her family.It was very sad at times & heart wrenching. It has a lot trials between the mothers and the daughters. They don't talk to each other & explain what is going on in their lives. They don't hear & understand the other persons heart. I had to put it down at times or I would be crying with of all the turmoil. I know life is really like that at times. We have our mountain tops & our valleys. There are lot of things that happen in this book, that make you think about your relationships with other people. How can I relate to this? Am I hurting someone else with my actions? If so how can I change what I might be doing to hurt someone I love? Am I hearing how the other person feels? Have I told them that I love and care about them & their feeling?
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on December 20, 2010
I really enjoy reading Francine Rivers. Redeeming Love is one of my all-time favorite books. She's a master storyteller and does great historical research for her epic novels. You can't read a Rivers book without learning a lot. Her Mother's Hope does not disappoint and I'm looking forward to the sequel, Her Daughter's Dream. Epic story of the complicated relationship between a mother and daughter.

A fear-driven mother, determined her daughter will not repeat the past.

A daughter who has never felt the love and acceptance of her mother.

Emotionally gripping...
Thought provoking...
Raw...
Painful...
Powerful...

Realistic, genuine, flaw-filled characters...

Made me think about the way I talk to and treat my husband and children.

Cutting words...Biting tone of voice...Perceptions and assumptions...Dangerous for relationships...

A lesson in faith, the power of prayer, and redemption.

A bit rushed in the last few chapters, but an engrossing and well-written story.
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on May 14, 2017
GREAT book. Good story line and well-constructed sentences and good grammar as well. Francine Rivers is a better writer today than when she first started reading her books. She does not do SO much recapitulation as she did some years ago. I like that lots better and her story line is more solid than it was some years ago. I would read her books again. I had gotten tired of them for a while because of weak stories or slow development but now she is a master of her story. Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion.
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on August 16, 2011
This book follows 5 generations of women whose lives are impacted by circumstances that cause them to live in impaired relationships: i.e. the mother-daughter relationship. Patterns of harshness and unspoken hurts that so often typlified our parents' and grandparents' behaviors follow generationally until something happens to break the vicious cycle. I found the book interesting from a reader's perspective, because Francine Rivers is one of my favorite Christian authors and she writes with inciteful and true-to-life observations about relationships. I also found myself identifying with the "cycle" of disapproval, busyness and unintentional emotional neglect that can overshadow any love the mother has for her child. It made me re-evaluate my somewhat strained relationship with my own daughter--and encouraged me to be more unconditionally loving toward her, more forgiving, and to resist projecting motives into her reactions to me.
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