Book Review of A Time of Hope (Love Inspired)

A Time of Hope (Love Inspired)
A Time of Hope (Love Inspired)
Author: Terri Reed
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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A temporary pastor in a small town community church finds true love with a cleaning woman. Sounds like a simplistic plot, yet Reed's characters walk off the page and into your heart. Mara is deeply hurt by her parents' untimely deaths and hides behind a facade of anger and loneliness, which Jacob sees through. The son of a popular preacher, he's hoping that he'll eventually become like his grandfather and preach to a large congregation in San Francisco.

The characters are fairly young; Mara is 22, Jacob only 26, yet they appear wise beyond their years. Mara gets a makeover courtesy of Jacob's sister and, probably for the first time, her outer beauty matches her inner beauty. Mara and Jacob develop a real connection based, not on looks, but on shared faith, which is the strongest foundation on which to build a marriage.

I liked the contrast of Jacob's grandfather's big city ministry (evidently modeled on some of the megachurches) and Mara's small community church. I was reminded of Jesus sending out the 70 disciples to preach. They didn't stand in the middle of the city and deliver sermons; they went, in pairs, to people's homes and preached. You can give a sermon on television, but you'll never know if you've reached someone's heart unless you sit down, face-to-face, and talk to them.