Outstanding | BookishFirst


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We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels is a period piece that speaks to the times that we live in as Americans, in a divided country. Although the author is a white women, it did not feel strange, as the reader, to know Bartels wrote this story. A quote from the book I just absolutely adored: “there’s no one right path that if you make the wrong choice you’re sunk. Whatever you choose to do, God can use that. Life is a winding path. It’s always in retrospect that it appears to be a straight and inevitable one”. Pg. 316. Throughout the book, we hear from 3 distinct, yet wildly different characters: Elizabeth, a fired journalist trying to piece back who she was and is now, Nora, a rich women marrying a black man in turbulent times in the 60s, and Mary, a soldiers wife living in the country, running her husbands home with escaped slaves. The thing binding their stories is that they are all related. I’m shocked and glad for the ending of the book, it shows what a person does when not deterred by their doubts but listens to the voice that sets them on their right path. I can’t wait to read more from Bartels, she is phenomenal, thank you for this generational tale!