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September 2011

Reviewer: Lee Carver

Lee CarverLee Carver has retired from her globe-trotting life as the wife of a senior vice president of the world’s largest bank. She and her husband served as volunteer missionaries for six years, while he was a pilot in the Brazilian Amazon. Lee has taught biology and chemistry, served as volunteer church musician, and currently participates in her church choir, Room in the Inn for homeless women, and Prayer Shawl Ministry. The Carvers, married more than 40 years, have two children and five grandchildren.


Carol Award: Women’s Fiction: Winner: Beaded Hope

Carol AwardTitle: Beaded Hope
Author: Cathy Liggett
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (Jan Stob and Lorie Popp, Editors)
ISBN: 9781414332123
Category: Women’s Fiction
Reviewed by: Lee Carver

Cathy Liggett has written much more than a mission story. Weaving together the lives of four American women, and then moving their mixed backgrounds and good intentions to South Africa, she catches all their hopes and expectations into the same net. She does POV so deep that we put on the character’s persona and walk in it. Each is developed in her own world, with her messy problems and desires.

Liggett’s finest, most carefully drawn character is Hope itself.

Liggett develops setting like a fifth major character, both in the U.S. and South Africa. A master at sub-contextual writing, she describes the weather such that the reader feels it. She contrasts the “enveloping lush greenness” with “menacing, curlicue loops of barbed wire” and electric fence. We sense the beauty and the danger of South Africa.

Beaded Hope coverThe African women, full of grace and charity, earn a few coins for food by creating beaded objects for sale. How can desperately poor mothers, fighting HIV and AIDS, find the hope to keep going? Their faith, their will to survive, become object lessons for their American benefactors. Here the author shows her greatest strength yet: to portray all this without the spirit of depression or desperation.

As the American women work with and come to love the African women, they discover their own anchors and ways of dealing with the conundrums of their lives. They bind spiritually and use these weeks together to look for resolutions from a new direction. As they give practical help and business advice to the Africans, the Americans derive courage to reassemble and continue their own lives.

Liggett’s finest, most carefully drawn character is Hope itself.

Buy this book

Cathy LiggettCathy Liggett’s Beaded Hope

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