Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter
Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.
Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.
Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley.
1915 and present day Asheville, North Carolina & Fenwick, England
Charming time slip novel perfect for book lovers. While it took me a little longer to get wrapped up in the current day thread, I ultimately found both story lines engaging.
Clara runs a bookshop with her mom in Asheville. Her uncle presents information showing the building isn't legally theirs. This sends Clara on a modern day scavenger hunt to find the missing deed and learn more about her great-great grandmother Sadie.
Sadie was a servant of the Vanderbilts at the Biltmore estate delightfully in charge of the family's expansive library. When Oliver's family visits from England, the two quickly find they are kindred spirits.
Beautifully written and compelling time slip novel. My gratitude to the publisher Barbour for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.
Hope Between the Pages is an absolute delight for any book lover. This book is a duel time line story that revolves around the love of bookshops and stories. The setting is the Biltmore in North Carolina as well as across the pond in England. The book captures the scenery and allows you to be a part of the history and mystery. There is so much to like about this book. The 1915 story reminds me of Cinderella and the present day story seems to be a nod to Beauty and the Beast. Which is a win win! The characters come alive and you get sucked into the mystery. You will love each and every character. With the exception of the antagonists, but that makes it even more of a page turner. I smiled at the love between the heroes and heroines and the precious romance that each time line shared. This is a heartwarming story that will leave you with a smile as you read the end and savor the happily ever after.
Tears and more tears. This is what happens when you make such a connection with the characters that the words on the pages become more than just simple words. The character become your family the mother becomes your mother, the sister is your sister,the grandmother who loves and feeds delicious meals is your grandmother, the lost love becomes your lost love and you feel the pain. This time split novel has all you could possibly need from a library in the Biltmore House in North Carolina to a guard house that is castle like living quarters in scenic England. A bookstore that a modern woman is fighting to keep in her family leads to discovering a breathtaking past she had never known of, uncovering secrets that will touch your emotions. This book is whimsical,full of joy,full of hope and will make you a better person for having read it.
Pub Date 01 Apr 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
I have 3 favourite genres when it comes to fiction - historical, mystery and romance. This novel was full of all three, and superbly executed. I tip my hat to Pepper D. Basham. This will be a favourite of the year for me. I was glued from chapter one. While this book is not a fairy tale, it maintains the feel of one. The characters were rich and the plot flowed well. The romance was swoon worthy. I got teary eyed (twice to be exact), and that is a rarity for me. So well done.
Being the historical fiction fan that I am, I often have some reservation in starting a time slip novel. I typically love the historic piece and am left much less engrossed in the contemporary portion. Not so in this book. The contemporary storyline, though in present day, was written in such a way that felt historic in and of itself and blended in so well. I can't wait to read another novel by this talented author.
Characters: Sadie (the historical heroine) and Clara (the modern-day heroine) were both well-developed characters. Sadie’s love of books and Clara’s love of vintage clothing and her questions about her future made them seem like real people. I did wish the author had included the guys’ perspectives. Reading a romance when I only get one of the perspectives isn’t my favorite.
Moral: It’s been a few days since I read this, but I believe the theme centered around not being afraid to live life. And of course, hope was a theme as well.
Plot: I can have a rough relationship with split-time novels, but I didn’t struggle with the split-time aspects in this novel. The stories complemented each other.
Random comments: This might seem a bit on the picky side, but both Sadie and Clara were a little too obsessed with magic/magical stories and fairies.
Romance: Clean. A few kisses.
Writing: Pepper Basham’s writing worked well for this book. It had a historical/bookish feel about it.
Overall: Hope between the Pages was an enjoyable read, and I’d recommend it to those who love Christian fiction, split-time novels, contemporary romances, and historical romances.
It's amazing how characters can slide into a story and take the author by surprise. This story went in directions I hadn't planned, but I fell in love with it!
"The chasm between upstairs and downstairs, the rift of our worlds, even the schism of an ocean, evaporated into the tenderness of such affection. My breath shook, my chest quaking as if this fragile connection bound my life to his and I would never be the same...would never wish to be the same."
This story is a dual timeline alternating between nineteen year old Sadie Blackwell in 1915 and her great granddaughter Clara Blackwell present day. Sadie works for the Vanderbilt family at their Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina as a housemaid working in the library. She has passed her love of books on to her great granddaughter. In fact, Sadie bought a bookshop after leaving the estate and now Clara is helping her mother run the store since the death of Clara's father. Sadie's story is one of hard work to help support her family that consists of her aunt and her sister. It is also a story of love. She didn't intend to fall in love with someone, especially a guest of the estate but it happened. She and Oliver Camden of England fell in love. How can a maid and a nobleman get together? Or did they? Sadie did have a child and then she raised Clara's father. Clara and her mother are in a pinch because they have to find the deed to the bookstore or they may lose it. They live in an apartment connected to the store so that means losing their home as well. Where could Great Grandmother Sadie have hidden it? As Clara seeks to find the deed, she talks to an historian at the Biltmore Estate and eventually her quest sends her to England. This rich story is sad and tragic but full of love and faith and so much more. There is a mystery to unravel with a chance at romance for Clara that took her completely by surprise...one that God had to have planned and maybe He planned Sadie's as well. I highly recommend the story. I received a complimentary ARC from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
“Keep to your Bible and to your fairy tales, sweet girl. One is for your soul and the other is for your daydreams. Both will help you through this, and in both you’ll find your story.”
This book has everything - bookish characters, great truths (Christ is specifically named), surprising twists, idyllic settings. The hallmark of this book is the romance- there are two love stories in this split time novel, both with flawless MCs, and the storyline is heavily romantic. Perfect heroes made the story slightly boring, but it also made for a nice escape read. I wasn't sure I liked the foreshadowing of the split time, the modern day revealing more about the historical plot than it has revealed about itself, but it did emotionally prepare me and save me from devastation. I don't like being devastated in books, and I do like happy endings, which this book (mostly) delivered on as well (everything wasn't perfect, but it was a satisfying end.)
I haven't read everything by Pepper Bashan, but as a bibliophile, I do think this book seems to be the pinnacle of her writing, and I enjoyed my time in it. I would recommend this book to Christian fiction lovers and those who love books about book lovers.
I read an ecopy from Netgally and the publisher in exchange for a review, but I was not compensated in any way or required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.
*Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out.
Synopsis: Clara Blackwell is on the verge of losing her great-grandmother’s bookshop—and a hundred years earlier, Sadie Blackwell is on the verge of establishing it. Love letters and missing deeds unite the two women in a story of love, hope, and following your dreams.
Favorite Quotes:“It’s always the right time for the right romance, my girl.”
“Love is powerful. It has the strength to change hearts, restore broken lives, bring healing from grief, and provide courage to push us beyond our self-defined limits. Love makes us brave. And hope inspires our imaginations.”
I’m honestly struggling with my star rating right now. Seriously. This is, like, a five-star book, and yet I’ve only given it 3.5. As per usual, most of my reasons are personal—and since the greater portion of all my personal reasons are, well, personal and kind of dumb, I’ll only focus on the most important PR (#personalreason) and the technical, objective reasons.
So here we go.
I’ve never actually read anything by Pepper Basham, but I’ve been wanting to for a while now, so I requested this book on the basis of the author—meaning I knew next to nothing about the premise of the novel going into it, only that (1) everyone’s enjoyed it from what I’ve seen and (2) Basham is a popular writer and (3), um, apparently it’s a time-slip. Actually, I may not have known that fact before requesting Hope Between the Pages…
Anyway, this is a difficult book to write a review for, since I still don’t know if I enjoyed it or not. For the first half, I wasn’t very invested in the story or the characters and I pretty much spent most of my time being pessimistic. (I mean, c’mon, someone had to be the realist amongst all the idealists in this novel.)
So one of my personal reasons was that I was seriously concerned for nearly half the book that Sadie was a fool who fell for a man who left her pregnant and unwed. Of course, I could have come up with a hundred different ways for her to be married but still go by her maiden name...but I felt too much like being, as I said, pessimistic. Probably because I wasn’t too invested in painting for myself a happy ending…
But that’s beside the point. I didn’t really get interested until the second half (particularly once Max entered the scene), so I’ll focus on what I gleaned from that and how I felt after finishing. Sound good? Good.
Technically, Hope Between the Pages had a lot going for it:
• An interesting, unique setting full of historical value; • A Hallmark-style aesthetic complete with a quaint bookstore and a vintage-wearing heroine; • Two well-paced and carefully arranged timelines that flowed smoothly; • And a smidge of mystery.
But for me, something was off.
Basham’s writing was good enough—nothing eye-catching or memorable about her voice or style—but I didn’t really like having one point-of-view in first-person and the other in third. She’s not the only author who does that, but when both characters are of equal import, I’d like to have their POVs written in the same way, you know? Makes things smoother. If it’s just the perspective of a minor character as opposed to one of the main characters, I get it, but in this case it was a little jarring.
As for her characters themselves? Ayyyyy…
Right off the bat, Oliver was literally too good to be true. I love a good, kind, handsome, book-loving hero, don’t get me wrong, but one who’s as all-around perfect as Oliver and for some reason completely oblivious to class differences is just a little unrealistic. So, yeah, maybe I didn’t trust him, and maybe I didn’t really connect with him like I wanted to.
The same went for Sadie. She was…okay. Tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me. (Bah-dum-chi…) Pride and Prejudice quotes aside, Sadie lacked that oomph I was looking for. And I don’t mean that rule-breaking, feminist oomph. I mean just the strong personality that I immediately pick up on and connect with from page one. You know how some characters just feel so real? Yeah, Sadie wasn’t one of them. I feel like her older self that Clara would think back on seemed more real, and she was dead by that point.
That’s probably because this is a split-time novel—you’ve got to balance two timelines, two romances, and two to four characters in one book. That’s a lot of work...but that doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice proper character development because of it. All I’m asking is that authors pick at least three personalities traits for each character and do their best to make them obvious to the reader. Surely that’s not too hard.
Ach, enough whining. Let’s move on to what I thought of Clara.
I’ll put it like this: I liked Sadie more. Clara seemed to teeter between an independent woman with a plan and a flighty girl with no idea what she was doing. Can that be possible? It shouldn’t be, but apparently it is. I should’ve liked her—for gosh’s sake, she wore vintage and ran a bookstore! But she really fell flat and lack a great deal of characterization.
You know, maybe that was it. Both Sadie and Clara didn’t have much of an arc, so that’s probably why I felt like something was missing—it was change. For a first-person romance, it was more mystery/suspense-oriented in some ways...and while I liked that, it made the characters very two-dimensional.
But then there was Max. I actually started to like the story when Max showed up, halfway through the book. Seriously, though, he’s British, also wears vintage, and is yet another emotionally wounded and physically scarred hero. What’s not to love?
Nothing. Exactly. Therefore, he was my only favorite character and simply the best part of this book. He actually had some semblance of an arc...and just him showing up for Clara when she needed it was adorable.
Suffice it to say that, as per usual, I didn’t like the girl characters, I loved Max, and nothing about Basham’s writing stood out to me.
I have to say, Basham did spectacularly at making this story mysterious, puzzling, and suspenseful—so kudos for that. The general plot—at least from Clara’s side of it—was pretty engaging.
But as interesting as it was, there was just one thing that quite honestly ticked me off. It it weren’t for that, I might would’ve let the lack of character development slide and give this book four stars.
Except it was there—or, rather, He wasn’t.
I wanted more Jesus. I just did. I needed Clara to go to Him in pray, for Sadie to seek His guidance before making certain decisions, for scripture to be included, for something to speak to me in this book!
But there was nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I mean, Basham may have mentioned God, church, and praying a few times, but she was much more accustomed to talking about fairies and magic. Personally, I’m not a fairy/magic person. At all. But it might not have bothered me so much had Basham simply included God.
As much as I’d like to start ranting about this, I’ve already stated my views in my unofficial review of Hooked On You by Kathleen Fuller (which you are more than welcome to read right here), so I’ll just leave it at that. Pretty sure I’ve made my point.
I need Christian writers to start writing Christian fiction—not inspirational, not secular, not clean, not religious. Christian. As in, full of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Full of scripture and powerful messages. That’s our purpose as Christians—to glorify God in all we do.
Long story short, a lot was missing from this story—which is why one and a half stars are missing as well. It’s decent and enjoyable, but I had way too many pet peeves and found myself too disconnected from the characters to fully appreciate it.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
"Any story that begins in a library is bound to be an excellent tale." This is indeed an excellent tale told between two perspectives: the first person viewpoint of a young woman in service at the fabulous Biltmore mansion in 1915, and her modern day descendent. A mystery to solve surrounding her ancestor and an urgent need to find a deed to her bookstore, begins a life-changing experience for Clara Blackwell.
"Stories held power and everyone told one..." The author effectively uses the dual timeline to pull together the pieces of the past and the present to create a complete family history, bringing clues of the mystery to light, up to the final revelation at the end. I enjoyed every minute of it! I loved the creative use of fairytales, old books and letters. Between the settings of the Biltmore and descriptions of the Lake District in England, it felt like a lovely armchair adventure. The romances are tender and surprising, breaching classes, cultures, and wounded spirits. I liked how Sadie and Clara's faith grew as they stepped out of their comfort zones, trusted God for the next step, and reached out to love despite the costs. They overcame a lot in the end. It made me think about the legacy we leave our children.
Highly recommend to fans of historical Christian fiction with a mystery and clean romance. 5 stars
(An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)
It’s so lovely to find an author you’ve not read before but whose writing you now adore. That’s the case with Pepper Basham and her newest hf novel, HOPE BETWEEN THE PAGES. The dual timeline tale works well, skipping between the story of Sadie at the Biltmore Estate in 1915, to Asheville in the present with Clara’s quest to find the deed to Blackwell Bookshop. Romance, a mystery surrounding a 100-year-old love letter, and splendid descriptions of the Vanderbilt’s estate and England’s Peak District keep you rapt. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 01 Apr 2021 #HopeBetweenthePages #NetGalley
Thanks to the author, Barbour Publishing, Inc., and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mIne.
"Dear Library Fairy, I've always believed in fairies but feel a library is the perfect abode for such a fantastical creature." . . . . and just like that, Sadie Blackwell becomes acquainted with the Book Goblin, and a rather handsome book globin at that. He did have another fine name, Oliver Camden, and his family was visiting the grand Biltmore Estate where she worked behind the scenes as the "book maid", making sure that the elegant two story library stayed in pristine condition for its guests. Could a fairy and a goblin dream the impossible dream; sharing a future together, one that extended far beyond clever conversations tucked between the pages of a book? Sadie Blackwell might be more adventuresome than she thinks. And braver.
Years later Clara Blackwell is on the brink of despair. Her family's historic bookshop located in the heart of Biltmore Village in Asheville, North Carolina has hit a major roadblock in determining ownership. The deed to the property appears to be missing, and without it, Clara has no chance of saving the business from a nasty takeover by her greedy uncle. Clara is certain that her grandmother Sadie owned the shop, but then again her grandmother was reticent to ever discuss the details. The hunt for answers takes her on an unexpected adventure across an ocean and onto the very property where the Camden estate once thrived. . . .. where just perhaps she will find her own "hope between the pages".
Such a lovely, imaginative, almost whimsical story that lands one of the most memorable endings that I have ever read. "Love . . . has the strength to change hearts, restore broken lives, bring healing from grief, and provide courage to push us beyond our self-defined limits. Love makes us brave."
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy to donate to my church library.
After having visited Biltmore a couple of years ago (much to my delight there was also a Downton Abbey exhibit - squee), I have to say the library was awe inspiring. I could have spent a lot of time in there just looking, standing behind the ropes, but I can see the fascination of it for Sadie and Oliver, imagine the people sitting there reading by the fire, having their after dinner drinks. But alas, my 7 year-old-busy body had already found all the clues in there for the kids scavenger hunt and was off to the next room.
This duel-time story takes place in 1915-16 Biltmore - where Sadie Blackwell and Oliver Camden meet. Sadie the library "fairy" and Oliver the "goblin" of books, meet despite class and status. There was no holding back of feelings. Sadie truly was an artist in knowing what type of books each guest would like, and she had a heart that made her easy to love. Oliver Camden was from England, visiting the Biltmore with his father and sister, and despite his status felt with his heart. Thus, bringing a tender love story to life.
Clara Blackwell is the great-granddaughter of Sadie Blackwell and runs the 100 year old Blackwell's bookstore in Asheville along with her mother and cousin. When her uncle says they need to produce the deed to the store, because his client claims to be the owner, sends Clara on a trip across the ocean, a history lesson she never would have imagined, and a love story of her own.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, maybe because the stories were so sweet, that I have been to the Biltmore so I could envision the various rooms described, or just that I hoped in the end that Sadie and Clara could finally find happiness, acceptance, and love. I am enjoying this series of Doors to the Past, and on to the next.
Between the Pages by Pepper Basham is a dual timeline story that left me sighing with contentment at the ending.
Clara Blackwell has been working in her family's 100-year-old bookstore for as long as she can remember. It was her father's legacy and she inherited his love of books and stories. At the same time, she has been busy caring for her mother after her father passed away and minding the bookstore. You could say she has been living a relatively, secluded predictable life. Then a letter is found while the bookstore deed is missing and Clara is off on an adventure to find her family's legacy--and maybe discover a new future.
I enjoyed both the story of Clara, Max, and her family's bookstore--as well as the historical story of Sadie and Oliver. I rooted for both couples and booed when the villains entered the scenes. While I own a couple others, this is the first book that I have read from Pepper Basham--and now I want to read the others even more. I like how she brings to life her beautiful stories with imperfectly real but lovable characters. She also wove the plots together quite nicely in Hope between the Pages. I found myself wanting to linger in the happy scenes and sighing at the romance. I also felt indignant when it seemed the bad characters were getting ahead. Also as a book nerd, I loved reading the characters' scenes in both the libraries and the bookstores, as well as the books that they read and shared together. It just brought out all the feels for me and I highly recommend Hope Between the Pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
What I love about this book: EVERYTHING! Writing about Appalachia and England is what Pepper Basham does best with sweetness and a little mystery. You can tell this story is woven with love and faith. “Any story that begins with a library is bound to be an excellent tale.” In this delightful dual time story, we get not one, but two fairytale romances. The settings are beautiful and make you want to visit The Biltmore Estate in Asheville and Camden House in England. We are introduced to Sadie Blackwell and Oliver Camden in the Biltmore Library in 1915 where they correspond to each other as The Book Goblin and The Library Fairy. The notes were the catalyst that brought them together, for they looked past conventions and into the heart. “The only people who are too old for fairytales are the ones who have forgotten their imagination.” The references to classic literature took me back to one of my favorite books: The Secret Garden. In the present time, a descendant of Sadie, Clara Blackwell, owns a family bookshop. She is looking for a missing deed and comes upon a mysterious love note belonging to her great-grandmother. This leads to an eventful trip to England where more mysteries are found, “For some reason, she felt she had just opened a wardrobe door to the entrance of a story that could change her life.” This is a captivating and well written tale with endearing characters. I will be stepping back between the pages again very soon.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
What a beautiful dual timeline story (I can't believe it's this author's first foray into the genre - she was a pro!). I love these stories that connect family history, include a mystery and a romance (in both timelines). This one also includes a beautiful backdrop of the mountains - both in Asheville, NC and in Fenwick, England. This story begins with Sadie in 1915, a servant at the Biltmore, whose job it is to maintain the Vanderbilts' library and ensure that guests have books that meet their needs. In the current timeline, Clara (Sadie's great-granddaughter) is endeavoring to care for her mother and save the family's bookstore when a new chain bookstore moves into town. When ownership is questioned and Clara has 2 weeks to locate the deed to the store, she learns a great deal of Granny Sadie's story and about love. The characters in both timelines of this novel are likable and relatable. Their stories were touching and sweet. By the end, I was definitely crying the ugly tears. The faith thread in the story was subtle, but definitely present and I loved the optimism and strength of the main characters in both timelines. This is one I would definitely recommend to fans of all genres as it contains a little bit of everything. Special thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this novel. I was not obligated to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
'Some dreams required hard work. Others require miracles.'
Pepper Basham brings us a poignant and powerfully told dual time slip novel in Hope Between the Pages. Set in WWI Asheville, we are treated to the wonderful Biltmore estate as most of the setting where servant Sadie Blackwell tends the magnificent Biltmore library and inadvertently becomes a library fairy to a visiting Englishman, also a book lover just as Sadie is.
'In her beloved books, she knew the ending came with a happily-ever-after, for the most part. At least in the books she loved best.'
Present day finds Clara Blackwell owning a book shop passed down to her by her great grandmother Sadie. The discovery of a hundred year old letter has presented a great mystery. A mystery that involves Sadie greatly.
Any book lover, like myself, will adore this enchantingly rich story. Like a beautiful fairy tale, it weaves its magic into your heart and you find yourself weeping at the beautify of it. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. I received no compensation and the opinion in this review is entirely my own.
A romance spanning the divide of class, fanned by a shared love literature.
Generations later a woman delving into her family's shrouded history in hopes of saving her family's beloved bookshop.
A beautiful novel that made my book-loving heart so happy, about a woman in the present as she learns about her ancestors who fell in love through their mutual love of books. I loved the rich history and how the author brought the worlds the life, from the present day to the idyllic Biltmore Estate, and across the pond to the UK.
A captivating read, Clara is easy to relate to and cheer for, and I couldn't help but swoon over Oliver and Sadie's novel meeting and romance. A beautifully written timeslip novel that knows its audience of booklovers well. I loved how the modern day story added dashes of mystery and suspense to the sweet romance. Strong themes of faith shine through in both storylines. A gem of a read, with characters who captured my heart.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Love is powerful. It has the strength to change hearts, restore broken lives, bring healing from grief, and provide courage to push us beyond our self-defined limits. Love makes us brave. And hope inspires our imaginations.
Honestly, I'm at a loss of how to put together my review. This book is so beautiful written and touched me in a the right ways that I fear I may not do justice to the story but let me try. You know when you read a story and it's just right. That's how I felt when I was done with this story. From the start of the story, I wanted to know more both about Clara and Sadie. This legacy that spanned through decades but yet nothing was really known and I found out and I fell in love with them. Both Heroines for stepping out of their comfort zones and following their dreams even in the midst of struggles and heartaches at times, they lived. I loved Oliver for not conforming to the norms expected of him but living life to the best of his ability and standing up for what he believed despite the sometimes harsh consequences. And Max, quiet simple but he understood Clara's heart and gave her the best gift. Helping her find out more about her family band just being the perfect hero. This book is definitely one that will stay with you long after you're done because it leaves you with the reminder that your dreams are valid and they matter. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed are solely mine.
Hope Between the Pages possesses a reverent depth sprinkled with humor throughout. Although I could gush over this story for hours (and still not do the story justice), as a staunch opponent of spoilers, my words will remain bound to preserve the precious awe of discovery for my fellow readers.
The dual timeline (or split time) novel is a natural fit for an author well versed in both historical and contemporary storytelling and Basham brilliantly shines in her genre debut. Each painful moment is gently unveiled with purpose and respect for both the character and the reader experiencing the tides of tragedy and triumph.
Readers will not be disappointed by this story. As impossible as it is for me to choose a favorite from Basham’s many delightful stories, this one certainly earns the prize for the greatest range of emotions evoked. Have a box of tissues ready, my friends, but don’t let the possibility of tears deter you. I highly recommend Hope Between the Pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. Additionally, as a co-owner of JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC, I received compensation from the publisher and/or author to coordinate a promotional tour for this title. The opinions expressed are my own.
Stories where characters come alive to the reader, leaving them feeling as if they have peeked into the lives of the people living within the pages, are the very best kind. That is how I feel about this novel. I became extremely invested in the lives of Sadie and Oliver and Clara and Max. It felt as if this could not possibly be a work of fiction. I had this incredible desire to hop on a plane and travel first to North Carolina and then on to England to help Clara sort out the truth of her heritage!
This book pulled my emotions all over the place and there were tears that threatened to fall as I discovered all that had transpired in the past. However, there was such a ribbon of hope threaded throughout both of the timelines in this tale, that it kept me reading and left me sure that God could use any circumstance for good.
The two couples in this story were simply wonderful. I loved the way Oliver saw Sadie for the woman she was and not the position she held as a maid. And I loved that Clara saw Max for the man he was and not the scars that marred his face.
The two timelines were woven together nicely. I liked that the story from the past, Oliver and Sadie’s story, was sometimes written as if the reader was right there experiencing these two fall in love, however, it was helpful to sometimes discover what happened through letters and even from stories passed down through the generations.
This was such a beautiful book and I know that I will be thinking of these characters for a long time to come.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
I loved this book. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and really enjoy stories that take place in two time periods. Any book that's about people who love books is going to be a hit with me! I loved all the references to other novels. This is a Christian novel with many references to God and faith. The author did a good job of establishing the characters in each era and making me care deeply about both of them. The timeline worked well. The story and romances developed in a fluid fashion, side-by-side with each other, and the mystery went back and forth in time, giving us just what we needed to know, when we needed to know it. My heart bleeds for Sadie and Oliver, whose time together was so short. I wish there had been more about what Oliver experienced in the war -- that was totally glossed over. He might not have admitted to what he was experiencing in his letters to Sadie, but it should have been mentioned. Another thing missing for me: I wish there had been scenes with Sadie as a grown woman, living her life and running the book shop, raising her son, etc. We only see Sadie as a young woman ... the rest is all conjecture on the part of Clara, who is researching her. All in all, a lovely story. I'm still smiling as I think about Clara and Max, and their sweet romance. The English Lake District is so vividly described; I've been there and I can't wait to go back. And now I want to visit Biltmore in North Carolina.
An absolutely phenomenal story from Pepper Basham! Hope Between the Pages was the perfect story for my bookish soul. Poignant and deeply fulfilling, this story will captivate the hearts of anyone fortunate enough to read Basham’s writing.
This is the first book by Basham I have read, and I have been missing out in a major way. Basham has an absolutely incredible gift for storytelling, unique and powerful and utterly enchanting. I could not put this book down! Very few books make me cry, but this book made me sob. I fell in love with the characters, and despite the tragedies thrown their way, Basham wrote their triumphs in a fantastically satisfying and inspirational way. I fell in love with Max within pages of meeting him, and Clara, Sadie, and Oliver will live in my heart for a long time as well.
Hope Between the Pages is an absolute must-read. I do not have enough words to describe the beauty of this book. It is intensely emotional and fulfilling to the soul. This story needs to be moved to the top of your TBR list! 5/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“How long will you breathe in the life of other people’s stories, but not step out into your own?”
A sweet pair of dual timeline romances focused on booklovers. The two pairs of heroes and heroines find truth in the C. S. Lewis quote: “Friendship is born in that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too?’” And we readers get to go along for the ride as they find “hope between the pages” while they meet, fall in love, navigate life, and leave a legacy for the ones who follow them. A charming, inspirational story told in beautiful settings! So glad I won this from Goodreads!
My favorite quotes:
“Keep to your Bible and to your fairy tales, sweet girl. One is your soul and the other is for your daydreams. Both will help you through this, and in both you’ll find your story.”
“’But remember, he’s only a page away. In all those fairy tales you read, about the brave knights or honorable princes. He’s there, as he was when he lived, so kind and brave. And he’s here.’ I pressed a hand to her chest. ‘In all our love for him, because God allows us the gift of memories to tide us over to eternity.’”
This was such a fantastic book in the Doors to the Past series.
This was a novel written in time slip. In the past, there is the story of a young maid who meets an upper class young man named Oliver. They share a love for books that draws them close together.
In the present day is the great grand-daughter of Sadie, Clara, who is the owner of Blackwell Bookshop.
The things I loved: -the characters love for books and how they came escape their current circumstances. -I loved how the characters were woven together so seamlessly. -the ability of the characters to persevere when their circumstances were extremely difficult. -my favorite Bible verse was highlighted Isaiah 43:1-3
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.
I was hooked by the first sentence: "Any story that begins with a library is bound to be an excellent tale." I let out a sigh of contentment and snuggled onto my fainting couch (this is a Pepper Basham story after all) and lost myself in a mystery that crosses time. Two heroines and their heroes. Lots of laughter and quick-witted banter. And letters! Oh, those letters -- they gutted me! Heartache and triumph and every emotion in between! I'm still reeling in bibliophile aftershock.
And so romantical that reading this book will give you permanent kinks in your toes! Including the best ever declaration of love in all it's bookish glory on page 172. I won't quote it 'cause that would spoil it for you, but, heaving a deep sigh, it's splendiferous. Excuse me while I read it again.
Am I rambling? I feel like I'm rambling. Oh well, there's nothing to be done for it because...Sophie and Oliver and Clara and Max!!!! My heart is still trying to recover from all the loop-de-loops and one near fatal nose-dive. I can't believe the author did that.That one terrible, unexpected thing. But she did. Consider this your tissue alert. My nose is still red. And my eyes are teary.
Hope Between the Pages delivers exactly what the title promises. I'm emotionally wrung out and a little weepy. As well as basking in the warm glow of so much book love. Seriously, I've tagged so many bookish quotes it looks like I'm cramming for an exam! A celebration of love and faith and how books can lead us to both.
"Books and imagination brought me love. Love inspired my hope, and hope led me to purpose...to serve others through generosity, kindness, and...books." (p 222)
I am a huge fan of dual timeline stories and Pepper Basham's first venture into this genre is a resounding success! The very first line of Hope Between the Pages sums it all up nicely, "Any story that begins with a library is bound to be an excellent tale." And an excellent tale it is!
Hope Between the Pages has everything I love in a good story, fascinating characters, fabulous descriptive settings, and captivating storylines complete with dual mysteries to solve that will leave readers on the edge of their seats! To have all that centered around the amazing library at Biltmore Manson and a bookshop too will make any bibliophile absolutely swoon!
This story is a feast of epic proportions when it comes to memorable quotes. I highlighted so many lines that spoke truth and touched my heart, I just wanted to go back to the beginning and read it all over again. That rarely happens! A few of my favorite lines to whet a readers appetite:
~"I'd never considered how some of our greatest losses lead us to choices that God uses for bigger things than we could ever have imagined." ~God allows us the gift of memories to tide us over to eternity." ~"Isn't it a wonder how God fashioned my desires into a greater story framed by a beautiful binding-like the two covers of a book."
I loved this beautiful passage for it's lyrical poetic quality: ~"The gentle, relaxed rhythm of this quiet, idyllic life suited Clara. The earth and the sky. Tea, books, and gardens. A vastness of rolling hills and lush countryside. Of birdsong and rain-scented air. How strange to feel a sense of belonging in a place she'd never been before."
It's all too wonderful for words! I thoroughly enjoyed Pepper Basham's exquisite writing and outstanding storytelling! Hope Between the Pages will be on my Favorite Books of the Year List and I highly recommend it! I appreciate Barbour Publishing making a copy, through NetGalley, available for review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.
"Books and imagination brought me love. Love inspired my hope, and hope led me to purpose...to serve others through generosity, kindness, and...books."
Crafted with care and attention to detail, infused with nostalgic and captivating words, filled with noteworthy and unforgettable characters, and sprinkled with fairy dust and sense of wonder, this time-slip novel by Pepper Basham will entrance you from the first page. This is just what my heart and soul needed after a dreary week of rain. The author's mastery of words comes alive as she creates two very distinct yet connected worlds in 1915 and present time. The love of books and the enchantment of fiction draw all four characters together; each character encourages imagination, hope, unswerving faithfulness, and the ability to really see others as they are. Faith element rings true, especially in Sadie and Oliver's lives in 1915.
Sadie, a servant who tends the Vanderbilts' library in their estate, and Oliver, a wealthy Englishman on holiday, completely captured my heart. Their story is told in Sadie's first person voice and has all the heart-wrenching elements of star-crossed lovers. Clara is the present day descendant of Sadie who's struggling to keep the family bookstore viable and her story is mostly in third person. Her romance with her hero doesn't start until halfway through the book and that worked out well to distinguish the two romances. Kindness and self-sacrificing love thread through all four of these lives and I loved each of these characters. There is also a bit of mystery that needs to be solved but Clara learns so much more about herself and her family history when she embarks on the journey to solve it.
It's a must-read novel that will leave you with tears of empathy and smiles of pure joy. I received the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinion is solely my own.