“We Hope For Better Things” ~Erin Bartels~ Review

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Synopsis:

When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request–that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos–seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time–from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War–to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

Author:

ERIN BARTELS is a copywriter and freelance editor by day, a novelist by night, and a painter, seamstress, poet, and photographer in between. Her debut novel, WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS, released in January 2019 and will be followed in September 2019 with THE WORDS BETWEEN US, the manuscript of which was a finalist for the 2015 Rising Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. Her poems have been published by The Lyric and The East Lansing Poetry Attack. A member of the Capital City Writers Association and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, she is former features editor of WFWA’s Write On! magazine.

Erin lives in the beautiful, water-defined state of Michigan where she is never more than a ninety minute drive from one of the Great Lakes or six miles from an inland lake, river, or stream. She grew up in the Bay City area waiting for freighters and sailboats at drawbridges and watching the best 4th of July fireworks displays in the nation. She spent her college and young married years in Grand Rapids feeling decidedly not-Dutch. She currently lives with her husband and son in Lansing, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.

Erin is represented by Nephele Tempest of The Knight Agency. Find her on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor, on Twitter @ErinLBartels, or on Instagram @erinbartelswrites. She blogs semi-regularly at www.erinbartels.com and her podcast, Your Face Is Crooked, drops Monday mornings. Find it on iTunes or at www.erinbartels.podbean.com.

Review:

A fantastic book! This is a great melding of a past and present story. I don’t normally like when books or movies jump back and forth between time periods, it is hard to keep things straight and I begin to lose interest. This book is different though, the chapters are dated. You know exactly when it is happening and there are only a few characters within each chapter. It is not overwhelming at all and makes for an easy read.

This is a story that revolves around a box of old photos. I wasn’t sure where this would take me but the back cover says “Take an emotional journey through time– from the volatile streets of 1960’s Detroit to Michigan’s Underground Railroad…” I had a time period in my head so I knew when but I really wasn’t sure how this story would end. It is a wide range of time periods that are so intricately woven together that you won’t want to stop!

It says it will take you on an emotional journey but I was not fully prepared for how deeply this book would make me feel. It takes you through a time of injustice and racism. A powerful story that will keep you turning the pages!

This author is new to me, but she did not disappoint. Her writing is fluent and flows so naturally I felt like I was in the story with the characters. It is such a powerful book filled with a rich history, new beginnings and a few little twists. I highly recommend reading this book. You will not be disappointed. I loved the story, the characters and the history. Go check it out! 🙂

Available at Revell Publishing

 

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