We Hope for Better Things Review

Book Review: We Hope for Better Things

If you enjoy historical fiction, this book brings it on in layers! Set in Detroit in the 1860s, 1960s, and modern day, the novel tells the story of three women in the Balsam family. Each woman faces her own journey of self-discovery alongside national turmoil and racial divides. It is like reading three novels in one. The author moves us through each time period giving us just enough of the story to get captivated before moving us along to another part of the tale in another time.

There is an underlying tension that runs through each plot. As the story unfolds, author Erin Bartels gives us tidbits of information so we can begin to piece together the tragic string that ties each generation together. Confronting love, race, class, and sexism, Bartels illustrates the struggle of America through this family and key moments in Detroit and US history.

The character development is strong. Mary, Nora, and Elizabeth all have depth and believability that makes you want to visit with each of them for a cup of coffee or a walk on the farm.

The novel made me feel like a reporter or historian uncovering a family mystery. I would love to have this be a series of three books so we could delve deeper into each story.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an unbiased review.


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