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Book Review: Hope In Liverpool

When all seems lost, and ending it all offers welcome relief, two broken people connect on a ferry across the River Mersey in Liverpool. Shortly afterwards, a marriage of convenience prompts them both to find something worth living for.

Hope is young, beautiful and intelligent. But she’s also blessed with humility that makes her eager to learn from others, and resilient, although she takes a while to discover her inner strength. She doesn’t ask for much, except to be safe and to be loved. John is older, meticulous by nature, and a “solid” bloke—exactly what she needs. Caught in grief, all he seeks is companionship. Yet, in Hope, he gets more than he bargained for.

I love stories about women who don’t realize they are stronger than they think. Hope is one such woman. Yes, she has her flaws and weaknesses, but she’s not willing to settle for less than what her heart desires. I felt invested in the characters and rooted for them until the end. Also, it’s easy to empathize with this flawed couple.

The author created vivid descriptions of the setting and culture of the time with authentic and beautiful detail. You can see and feel what the characters experience. It’s as if you’re right there in the slums where people live in abject poverty but keep a sense of community. She also captures the scouser accent in a way that one can understand what they say. I loved the well-rounded side characters as well, especially the couple’s neighbor, Bessie, who almost steals the show.

There is nothing preachy in this short Christian romance. And while it deals with heavy issues such as loss and abandonment, the author wrote it with a light touch that, dare I say it, gives you hope—one of my favorite themes in a novel.

This is the first of T.N. Traynor’s novels I read. It is the fourth book in her Women of Courage series. Of course, I have some “catching up” to do with the other women in the series, and it’s something I look forward to.

In sum, if you love historical fiction, a touching romance, and a quick read, then you can’t go wrong with this gem of a story. Finally, it offers you a happy escape from the humdrum of life. And who doesn’t need that right now?

This review was published on Reedsy:

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