Leaves of Hope

Catherine Palmer, Author Steeple Hill $13.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-373-78560-5
Prolific Christy award-winning romance novelist Palmer (A Touch of Betrayal) brews a lukewarm mother/daughter love and faith story that manages some enjoyable moments. Bethany ""Beth"" Lowell is a brash protagonist who travels the world assisting corporate employees with international transitions. Her stick-in-the-mud widowed mother Jan plans a comfortable and secure life in Texas painting roses and baking cobblers. When the secret of Beth's birth comes to light (a stock in trade of faith fiction plots), Beth crosses the globe with dashing British tea plantation owner Miles Wilson to find her biological father. Jan must decide if she will risk her secure way of life to make peace with her past missteps. A preachiness that feels didactic even for the faith fiction genre overpowers the storyline; the plot revolves around the conversion or recommitment of two characters (although one is charmingly portrayed). Most disappointing is the untapped potential of the setting of a tea plantation in the Himalayas and other exotic locations, most of which are described in an encyclopedic way. The romance never steams up, and Miles's disappearance at a crucial moment is confusing. However, faith fiction fans who like squeaky-clean romance will find this novel just their cup of tea.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-55254-463-1
Hardcover - 334 pages - 978-1-58547-818-7
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