02 January 2019

We Hope for Better Things | Book Review


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.

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: January 1, 2019


An unexpected request spurs reporter Elizabeth Balsam to dig deep into her family history—and Detroit’s history, too—and stories from the Civil War, the 1960s, and the present day intertwine easily for a truly memorable read.

Debut author Erin Bartels pens a beautiful story in We Hope for Better Things. She does not shy away from the complexities of racial tensions and discrimination and through it all, offers well-crafted characterizations—the struggles and courage of these women come to life—to drive the narrative.

I absolutely loved We Hope for Better Things, recommend it to readers who enjoy multi-generational stories, and look forward to reading more from Bartels in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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