Title: Courage in Patience: A Story of Hope for Those Who Have Endured Abuse
Author: Beth Fehlbaum
Publisher: Kunati Incorporated
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Plot - 16/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 9/10
After six years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her stepfather, 14-year-old Ashley finally finds the courage to reveal the painful details of her experiences with her mother, who refuses to acknowledge the problem and turns her back on her daughter. After confiding in her teacher—the only adult whom Ashley can trust—she is removed from her home and sent to live with her father and his second wife, Beverly, an English teacher. Nurtured by Beverly, an extraordinarily positive influence in her life, Ashley and a summer school class of troubled teens learn to face their fears and discover who they really are.
I'm kind of excited and nervous to write this review because in my head, it's just gibberish. All my thoughts are jumbled together. I got very mixed thoughts from this novel and I have no idea how I might put it into words, but here I go.
I loved the beginning of Courage in Patience. It was of Ashley looking back of what brought her to where she is now in Patience. The beginning was really strong and intense and I thought it was a fantastic start to what I was expecting a fantastic novel. But then she got to Patience.
In Patience is where my thoughts started to slur. Ash hadn't seen her father since she was three months old. But why wasn't he in the novel more? It was more of Ash coming to terms with her step-mother and her summer school teacher. Which I thought was odd. David, Ash's father was only there when Ash was in trouble, but I felt like he should've been there more then her step-mother.
Now, on to Summer School. When this part of the novel happened, I was a little shocked when the narration from Ash in first person went to a summer school classmate of hers or a relative of a classmate or even a random, well not totally, person in town in third person. I felt it took away from Ash's story, and when the narration kept changing and was barely ever back to Ashley in the end half of the novel, I got annoyed. I didn't want to hear about these stories, Ashley started this story, I was expecting Ash to go through to the end with it, but no. I was just hoping it would tie up in the end of why Fehlbaum was changing narration in the middle of the book, and it indeed did. But I still felt like it took away from Ashley and her story of recovering from sexual abuse. I was wishing it had been Ashley through-and-through.
Now, that doesn't mean I hated the novel, no, it was from from that. I enjoyed it, I loved it. The characters were extremely well defined from Ashley to her classmates to Bev and David, very three-dimensional and extremely well done. The writing was fantastic, even with the different narrations this novel showed the emotions great and the idea was great.
I know this novel says for all who have endured abuse, and Fehlbaum shows the different abuses all over this novel, from racism to homosexuals to parents underestimating kids, etc, etc. It is definitely a story of hope for those who have endured abuse, my only wish is that is was told through Ashley entirely.
So, yes. This novel was fantastic. Extremely well. Fehlbaum gives a light of hope with all those people out there who have had there troubles and she does so with three-demensional characters and terrific writing, and most definitely, hope. I recommend this novel.
(Thanks to Beth for this novel!)