Debut author Erin Bartels delivers a gripping and thought provoking read in We Hope for Better Things.
About the Book
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.
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In My Opinion
Readers follow three women through turbulent times of race relations in the Detroit area—the Civil War, the 1960s, and present day. Each story thread is well developed and connects seamlessly with the other two. Even the present day first person point of view and past third person POVs work with this story.
Bartels handles the issues of race relations with an air of humility while meting out the unsavory consequences of some of the choices—good and bad—these women make in their lives.
We Hope for Better Things is a reminder of both the strides we’ve made when it comes to race divisions and how far we have yet to go. This is one story I will be digesting for a while.
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