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Book Review: Rescuing Hope – Heidi M. Thomas

Author Heidi Thomas’ writing immerses you both in the life of Sam Moser and in the beautifully described open plains of rural Montana.

I know nothing about raising horses or living on a ranch, but it doesn’t matter, because author Heidi M. Thomas creates an immersive world that made me feel like I was standing on the wide-open plains of Montana, looking up at deep blue skies above while wildlife frolics in the grasses around me.

Protagonist Samantha Moser keeps running into complications as she tries to get her horse-rescue ranch off the ground. She’s denied the ability to buy the ranch outright, a frightening mistake while working with veterans affected by PTSD shatters her confidence, and then the man she’s just begun to date is involved in a serious accident. Every time she’s able to catch a breath, something else seems to come up, and at the young age of 24, she’s reaching her limit. How can she make it all work out?

Rescuing Hope is perfectly named: when the world around you seems dark, you look for hope. This novel is all about finding it. With patience, grace, the help of wonderful neighbors, and yes, lots of tears, Sam searches for hope amidst all the things in her life that have not gone the way she wanted. Although not an overly religious novel, Sam’s faith in the Christian God sustains her, and this theme of finding her “grounding” in God threads throughout the book without being preachy. Sam also works hard: she doesn’t pray and sit back and hope things go well. She’s willing to power through and try to find solutions to her problems with the help of her friends and self-made family. Honestly, this book reminded me of a grown-up version of Lurlene McDaniel’s youth books about teenagers diagnosed with serious, life-altering diseases finding strength and hope in their faith in God and in the support of the people around them. I am not a Christian myself, but I did not find the religious aspects of Rescuing Hope to be intrusive or offensive. Sam’s faith is simply part of her character, and it works just fine.

Thomas wrote this novel well enough to be a stand-alone novel. I had no idea it was the second in a series until I was about halfway through it and the characters were referring to past events just enough that I wondered if there was another book that delved into those events. Lo and behold, yes, there is a prequel, as Thomas has envisioned Sam’s full journey as a trilogy. However, Raising Hope references these past events in a way that you’re not missing anything in the plot of Raising Hope if you haven’t read the first book, and concludes in a satisfactory way without major cliffhangers leading into the upcoming third book. It can be difficult to write the middle part of a trilogy without relying too heavily on past or upcoming plot points, but Thomas does this magnificently. I’m interested in finding the first book to read now, and I’ll be on the lookout for the third when it releases.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery for free and read it on my 10th generation Kindle Oasis. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. This review was originally written for Reedsy Discovery. The original review is here.

Title: Rescuing Hope
Author: Heidi M. Thomas
Publication Date: 09 October 2021
Print Length: 367 pages
Marie’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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