Her Mother’s Hope
Her Mother’s Hope is the enjoyable introduction to a two-part family saga loosely based on Francine Rivers’ personal history. In 1901, twelve-year-old Marta Schneider lives with her parents in the village of Steffisburg, Switzerland. When life at home becomes unbearable, Marta heeds her mother’s advice that “an eagle flies alone” and sets out to pursue her dream of owning her own hotel. To that end, she works her way to Paris, London, and Montreal, where she marries Niclas Waltert. To Marta’s dismay, when Niclas loses his job he is unwilling to let her support him; he moves his growing family first to Manitoba and then, finally, to a farm near Sacramento, California.
Marta’s eldest daughter, Hildemara Rose, is the joy of her life, yet Marta is so enslaved to her bitterness that she is unable to show Hilde how much she is loved. As Marta interacts with her daughter, we see echoes of her relationship with her own father. There is a severity to Marta that is reminiscent of the unsmiling faces in many a period photo, but Rivers completes the image with a portrait of a woman who overcomes crushing hardship with courage and faith.