Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: Julia's Hope by Leisha Kelly

I first heard of this book from another blogger, and I apologize for not getting her name!  After reading that review, I found the book in the most charming used bookstore in Cheboygan, MI, while on a short vacation.  Purple Tree Books. 

Leisha Kelly is a new author to me, but after finding out more about her, I see that she has published many books since this one.  She has found a new loyal reader! Her books can be found on Kindle Unlimited.  Right now they have an offer to join for three months for just 99-cents, so I re-upped my membership just to continue with this series!

"Julia's Hope" can most definitely be read as a stand-alone novel.  In a word, it is charming.  The characters are vivid and flawed.  There is faith through trial, kindness from strangers, judgment from neighbors, and joy in simplicity. 

The story takes place in 1931, shortly after the Great Depression.  A typical family loses everything and travels (a lot of the time by foot) through the MidWest toward Illinois, hoping for a stable job for father, Samuel.

When their hopes are dashed and they are contemplating heading back home, they happen upon an empty farmhouse.  What they find there is more than they ever expected.

4.5 stars


Like countless others in 1931, Samuel Wortham lost his job. And he lost his wife's inheritance, their home, and much of his self-respect. Samuel, his wife, Julia, and their two young children hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Illinois in hope of work. Caught on the road by a sudden storm, the Worthams take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse out of desperation.

Feeling oddly at home, Julia insists on finding the owner of the property, despite Samuel's objections, and asks for permission to stay. The owner is Emma Graham, a woman in her eighties who longs for home but can no longer live by herself. Emma and the Worthams work out a plan to live there together and restore the farm. Samuel struggles with not being able to provide for his family, and Julia and the kids confront unpleasant surprises when a busybody neighbor turns against them. 

Julia's Hope is an endearing story of faith and faithfulness as Emma teaches the Worthams to live fully, give generously, and love unconditionally. She insists that the family grow where they are planted, like the garden they tend, and each member of the family is forever changed by her wisdom.

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