In the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.
When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.
But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward, or face an unknown future without him.
I do not know what book would be more relevant right now, than Where Hope Begins. The week I sat reading this story - a story about mental illness, depression, suicide, adultery, divorce, death, illness, losing your child, and all the possible turbulence and third person drama that those issues could create - every single day there was news about known people, some more famous than others, that had ended up losing the battle of depression, addiction, mental illness, and taking their own lives.
At first, as I tried to escape the horrid reality into a book, and the story kept repeating these heart-wrenchingly realistic topics, I thought I could not deal with it, that the sadness and the feelings of deceit, deception, despair were too much to take at the time.
But as I kept reading the story, and I got more into the characters, got to know and understand how their past was affecting the present, I realized that this is not a story about trying to learn to live with the betrayal and lies, trying to find a new chance and way in life, but this was a heartbreaking story of learning to forgive, to our selves and to others, let guilt go and learning to love and live with an earthshattering loss, to make the right choices, learing to pray again, finding the words for the emotions, and finding the faith in God again after the feeling of Him turning His back on you.
Where Hope Begins is a breathtaking story about a family's redemption that will stay with me for some time.
The story is told from several points of views, switching between the first and third person POV. There are moments of remembering the past events, the crossroad moments during the family's life, that had brought them to the point where they are today.
As Savannah escapes to her parent's summer house to recover from the divorce, she gets to know the odd and endearing family next door, who becomes an important part of her life. There are baffling yet endearing moments of clairvoyance, the joy of life, sharing secrets, gardening and afternoon tea, mixed inner struggles, and anxiety and loneliness that go so deep, are so devastatingly sad, raw, and real, that these can be triggers to some suffering from depression or a loss of a loved one. (With the sensitive, painful topics of the story, I would recommend the book for a mature audience.)
There was no way for me to read this story and not let it make an impact. It made me think, feel, and evaluate life. It made me angry, frustrated, crying, and so sorrowful it took my breath away. But it also made me elated, smile, and believe, trust in the promise that we are looked after and taken care of.
At the end of the story, I wanted to reach out to my friends and family, to embrace the life and appreciate what I have. And while adultery is part of the storyline, the story is a strong, realistic, and believable tale of loyalty, love, and faith. If read with an open mind, the story can be a graceful blessing filled with love, hope, and optimism, while the journey to the gain of faith will definitely break your heart.
~ Five Spoons