Hope In Patience by Beth Fehlbaum
ISBN-13: 978-1934813416
WestSide Books, 2010
312 p.

GENRE: Realistic Fiction

TEASER: Ashley has just moved to Patience, TX after being taken away from her sexually abusive step-father. She’s trying to heal but she can’t stop the urge to hurt herself.

SUMMARY: Ashley Asher has been repeatedly abused by her step-father for six years. When she finally goes to a teacher after a vicious rape by her step-father, she is sent to live with her biological father whom she has never seen before. This is the story of Ashley’s journey of healing and hope.

CRITIQUE: This novel is written in the first-person perspective through the protagonist, Ashley. Beth’s novel Hope in Patience is certainly hard to read at times. It is sure to hit a cord for its heartwrentching descriptions of Ashley’s inner struggles. This novel is very honest and real. It does not have an easy fix for everything. Most of the characters were well done. There were a few characters that I felt were a little one-demensional.

Although I feel that this novel is an important story to have available for teens. The writing was not always clear. I felt there was a bit too much time spent on some of the school material. I understand how the lessons in Beth and Mr. Man’s class were apart of a message that your experiences don’t define you, but they still help make you who you are. Just as Ashley’s abuse didn’t define her but it did make her into part of who she is and will become.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Fehlbaum is an author and a teacher for at-risk youth. She drew from her own experiences of abuse to write this novel. The Patience books began as a therapeutic project for Beth’s own journey to healing. Many of the characters in her novels are inspired by people that she has dealt with in the past. She lives in East Texas with her husband.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://www.bethfehlbaumya.com/


CHALLENGE ISSUES: some might be uncomfortable with the topic of child abuse, rape, self harm, and pedophilia.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.


BOOKTALKING IDEAS: Why do you fee it is so important for this book to be available to teens?

WHY INCLUDED: This book talks about a very important topic that is not addressed nearly enough in young adult literature. It may be hard to read for some but these problems are very real.