Like a breath of fresh air, Hope Ladley drifts in from one farm to the next landing wherever the good Lord leads her to offer help around harvest time. Arriving at the farm of widower Jakob Stauffer she finds him still grieving for his departed wife. Jakob hasn't relaxed in some time while trying to hold things together for his young daughter Emmy Lou and shield his heavily pregnant sister Annie from a violent husband. Hope's upbeat personality and loving quirky ways quickly win over Annie and Emmy Lou, but it's going to take much more to break through the hard overprotective shell Jakob has developed to trust anyone with his heart let alone what's left of his family.
*** Just as mentioned above, Ms. Hake's latest story depicting the cliché mangling, illiterate, itinerant wanderer Hope Ladley is indeed a breath of fresh air. What Hope lacks in book learning (due to dyslexia) she overflows with trust in the Lord, love, and human understanding. What a marvelous creation of a character this author has brought forth for all to admire and enjoy!
Likewise, Jakob was fashioned with a deep sense of honor and unfathomable pain after the loss of his wife and child, and not having been able to protect his sister from being beaten and abused by her lowlife of a husband. His trust did not come easy with constant worry over his daughter Emmy Lou coming to harm, or his sister's abusive husband discovering her condition. Hope was a complete puzzle to him, especially her odd way of getting things done while severely mangling well-known bible verses and clichés - which - when she explained her version, began to make sense.
Hake did a brilliant job of letting Jakob see the reasoning behind Hope's seemingly hap-hazard way of getting things done. As more heart-wrenching events unfolded, it would be through Hope's understanding and ingenuity that Jakob would be able to weather the obstacles tossed his way. His "pact" with Hope was drawing closer to the day she would again `mosey on down the road' to the next place the Lord led her to, but Jakob knew he had to somehow convince her to stay with him forevermore.
By re-introducing neighbors of the Stauffer's from previous book, FANCY PANTS, Hake rounds out Hope and Jakob's story with a plethora of even more realistic and likeable characters. Definitely a stand-alone, FOREVERMORE is a wonderful depiction of earlier times when neighbors helped neighbors and every one pitched in with many hands easing the load. Bible verses were judiciously used at perfect moments within the story giving the reader even more to absorb, especially when mixed up and interpreted Hope's way. The reader will find plenty of light heartedness as well as some very tense moments as Annie's abusive husband resurfaced, as well as an emotional health related issue concerning young Emmy Lou.
Hake is superb at writing compelling and thoroughly enjoyable stories. Bottom line, FOREVERMORE is a fabulous uplifting read that fans of inspirational historical stories are sure to embrace. Highly recommended reading.......